The US-China trade war has been going on for a couple of years now and there's seemingly no end in sight. OPPO, the second largest smartphone brand in China, has already hinted that it is working on its own mobile chipset. Now, the company is expediting its plan, starting with a talent acquisition spree.
According to a new report, OPPO has already hired several top executives from MediaTek to work on the company's new chipset division. Interestingly, MediaTek is one of the key suppliers for OPPO and is also the second largest chipmaker in the world. The aggressive approach is due to recent US government restrictions preventing TSMC from working with Huawei.
OPPO is currently on an acquisition spree for its own chipset division
Huawei has been severely affected by the conflict between the two largest economies. TSMC has been the sole supplier for Huawei's Kirin chipsets for a very long time. The company is now moving production to the Chinese foundry SMIC. Even Google is reportedly working on custom chip for the Pixel smartphones.
The custom chipsets will give OPPO an edge over the competition. While these efforts don't come cheap, they will certainly be effective in the long run. Looking at the top 3 smartphone brands, all of them have their own chip design department.
For OPPO, it will take several years to come up with a product that matches the performance of Qualcomm's Snapdragon or Samsung's Exynos chipsets. It recently hired Jeffery Jones, a former co-chief operating officer at MediaTek and a former executive at Xiaomi. Before taking up the job, he had even worked as a consultant for OPPO.
The company is also looking at Qualcomm and Huawei's HiSilicon to attract new talent. In the coming months, OPPO is expected to rope in a MediaTek executive who is involved in MediaTek's 5G smartphone chip development. It is also hiring engineers from UNISOC, the second-largest chipmaker in China.
Will Realme and OnePlus use the OPPO chipsets?
Currently, OPPO uses Qualcomm and MediaTek chipsets for its smartphones. Just like its own patented charging technology, the company might also share its chipsets with Realme and OnePlus. With its own chip division, the company is looking to reduce its dependence on US-based suppliers.
It is also aiming at the Huawei's market share in Europe. The company recently announced its partnership with Vodafone for the European market.