Oppo Mobile Telecommunications Corp. will look to become the latest big tech firm to enter into auto space. Specifically, the Chinese smartphone giant will look to work on intelligent and automated vehicles, according to a report by tech media 36Kr, as cited by Yicai Global today.
Chen Mingyong, the founder and chief executive officer of Oppo will head the joint venture (JV). Recently, he met with Contemporary Amperex Technology passenger car division president Zhu Wei, according to the report.
Also, the Chinese city of Dongguan in the Guangdong province is looking to hire and form a self-driving team. Involved in the interview process are VP of software engineering operations,Oppo’s Wu Henggang and the company’s chief scientist, Guo Yandong.
Previously, Yandong served as the chief scientist for electric vehicle giant XPeng (NYSE: XPEV), before leaving to join Oppo last year.
Oppo’s interest in the auto industry dates back to last year when it showed interest in investing in autonomous-driving company Zongmu Technology.
If Oppo moves forward with the JV, it would join the likes of tech giants Xiaomi (OTC: XIACY; HKEX: 01810) and Baidu (NYSE: BIDU; HKEX 09888). In the last month, Baidu’s JV CEO said it would pour $7.7 billion into smart vehicle production, while Xiaomi announced it would invest $10 billion in manufacturing electric cars.
In addition, Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) has reportedly been working on an electric vehicle project.
In the fourth quarter, Oppo shipped 33.8 million smartphones, which ranked fourth globally, according to a report from market research firm International Data Corporation (IDC). Apple ranked first with 87.5 million smartphones shipped, while Xiaomi clocked in third controlling 11% of market share.