A new rumor has sparked life into the allegations that OnePlus is owned by Chinese mobile manufacturer Oppo. GizmoChina reports that the two companies might be planning a merger in the near future, after spotting a corporate name change by Oppo with the word ‘Plus’ included in the new name.
OnePlus has not been performing well in China, and confirmed plans to cut R&D personnel in that country in a comment to GizmoChina. If the merger happens, we assume Oppo will take control of the Chinese side of the business, while OnePlus would continue building on its success in the West.
The report was quickly denied by OnePlus, which said it has no plans to merge with Oppo, nor does it have any relationship with the brand. The company did not confirm whether it plans to shut down Hydrogen OS — a custom ROM for devices in China.
Oppo has not commented on the report.
This is not the first time OnePlus has denied the claim that it is owned by Oppo, despite a document released by the Shenzhen Municipal Market Supervisory Authority (SIPO) in April 2014 confirming Oppo Electronic as a key investor. OnePlus shrugged that off in a reply to GizChina, claiming while it does share common investors with Oppo, it is a separately run company.
OnePlus is still a private firm, which means we cannot pry into its investors, owners, and other valuable information. Pete Lau, the firm’s co-founder and CEO, worked for Oppo as vice president before leaving to start OnePlus, and this is of course a major connection between the two companies. Some believe Lau created the company with Oppo’s backing and has been working with them from the offset, though there is no direct evidence to back this up.
Until we hear an official report, it is all speculation. Oppo doesn’t tend to comment on rumors, including those relating to OnePlus, in English-language publications or otherwise.