Historical Whois information as well as commercial filings reveal that OnePlus is a wholly owned subsidiary of Oppo.
OnePlus won’t be a Xiaomi-style “came out of nowhere” success story. Why? Because the OnePlus isn’t a new entrant into the market.
OnePlus launched its first handset, the One, late last week. The device has been aggressively marketed from the first day of OnePlus’ existence, which was a mere four months ago. There has been a lot of interest in the OnePlus One, and for good reason. The handset comes with a 5.5-inch full-HD screen, 3 GB RAM, 64 GB internal memory, Snapdragon 801, 13 MP camera, Wi-Fi ac and LTE Cat 4 connectivity along with a 3100 mAh battery. Available for just $349, the OnePlus One undercuts every other flagship device by at least $250.
<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet” lang=”en”><p>Is OnePlus actually owned by OPPO? Historical WHOIS data suggests yes: <a href=”http://t.co/KBnHrrPUG3″>http://t.co/KBnHrrPUG3</a></p>— @evleaks (@evleaks) <a href=”https://twitter.com/evleaks/statuses/460461243497975808″>April 27, 2014</a></blockquote>
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However, it looks like OnePlus might be just a marketing stunt undertaken by Oppo to strengthen its user base in countries like the US. Over the weekend, noted leakster @evleaks discovered that historical Whois domain information suggests that the admin contact for the OnePlus domain was Guangdong OPPO Mobile Telecommunications Corp., Ltd. Oppo has been doing very well in the Chinese market of late, but has a limited presence in the US, UK and other western countries.
More questions about OnePlus’ ties to Oppo started to emerge after the One was officially unveiled, as the OnePlus One looks strikingly similar to Oppo’s Find 7a. During the unveil of the OnePlus One, journalists asked Pete Lau, CEO of OnePlus and former vice president of Oppo the same question: “Why does OnePlus look so similar to OPPO Find 7?” He mentioned that the similarities were due to the fact that both organizations’ “aesthetics standard trends to be similar”, and said that “all phone nowadays look like iPhone”.
Furthermore, a document unearthed by Chinese site ITHome revealed that OnePlus is indeed a wholly owned subsidiary of Oppo. The commercial filing for OnePlus at the Shenzhen Market Supervision Administration lists Opal Guangdong Electronics Industry as the sole investor in OnePlus.
OnePlus clarified these allegations in a statement: “We understand the confusion as many people are just finding out about OnePlus. But as we’ve said from the beginning, OnePlus is a separately run company that does share common investors with OPPO. One of those investors is OPPO Electronic. OPPO Electronic is an investment company and is not the same as OPPO Mobile. OnePlus is also in talks with other investors.”
At the end of the day, most users would not care about who actually funds OnePlus, and will instead judge the company based on the quality of the One. However, considering OnePlus’ “Never Settle” marketing and the amount of hype it built for the launch of the One, several customers might be irked that they were lied to. What do you think of the OnePlus One? Would you still be interested in buying the handset? Let us know below.