The family tree of OPPO, realme, Vivo and OnePlus

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BBK Electronic Corporation

Brands like OPPO, OnePlus, realme or Vivo are known to userss in Spain. The first three have been selling their phones in our country for some time, while Vivo is preparing to finally make its entry, several months after its announcement. These brands have a lot in common as they belong to the same family.

OPPO, realme, Vivo and OnePlus are not only four brands that have their origin in China, but share the same origin, with BBK Electronics Corporation as the link between all of them. We tell you more about this group and the connection between these four brands.

BBK Electronics Corporation: the origin of everything

BBK Electronic logo

Surely some of you already know this, but all the brands that we have mentioned (OPPO, realme, Vivo and OnePlus) have the same business group as their union, which is BBK Electronics Corporation. It is a Chinese business group founded in 1998 specializing in electronic devices.

BBK is a group that born from the merger of three companies, founded by Duan Yongping, Chen Mingyong and Shen Wei. Individual companies had a great growth in China in the 90s with various products, such as game consoles, which landed in their union and in the birth of BBK Electronics Corporation in 1995. This company was made up of several divisions: the educational division, the division communication and audio video division.

2001 was an important change for the company, since in this year the three divisions separated. Each of these divisions took a separate path and became independent companies. The communication division became the company we know today as Vivo and the audio and video division became OPPO. BBK Education Electronics is the only one that continues to use the BBK brand today and is dedicated to the education segment, producing and selling technological educational material for schools. The companies currently operate independently, although there is a common shareholding.

The birth of OPPO

The family tree of OPPO, realme, Vivo and OnePlus 1

In 2001, the audio and video division of BBK Electronics became OPPO, also assuming that hundreds of employees of this division now became part of this company. In this year the company was officially registered, although it was not until 2004 that its activity began. It was in 2004 when OPPODigital was established in Silicon Valley, a firm specializing in the production of professional high definition DVD players and other types of digital audiovisual products.

Three years later, in April 2007, the company changed its name to Dongguan Opal Mobile Communications Co., Ltd and in 2008, OPPO entered the field of mobile telephony, the year in which the first devices of the brand began to arrive in China. Since 2008, the brand has been growing remarkably in the market, becoming one of the largest producers of phones and one of the best-selling brands in China.

After starting its journey in China, it has been expanding into more markets in Asia and since last year in Europe. Furthermore, in 2020 they are being one of the fastest growing brands in Spain.

Origin of Vivo

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BBK’s communication division became Vivo in 2001, which was originally called BBK Vivo, although in 2012 the name was permanently changed, becoming simply Vivo, as we know today. This brand has become the most popular within the group in China, largely due to its aggressive marketing campaign since its launch on the market. Since they have been sponsoring a huge number of prime-time shows in China, as well as the Soccer League in India or being one of the sponsors of the Soccer World Cup in 2022.

The company focused ondesign and develop mobile devices, accessories for these and the software and services necessary for them. One aspect that made them stand out from the start is that their phones incorporated HiFi chips to give a very high quality audio experience. From there, the company even developed its own app store (VIVO App Store), as well as its own Android-based interface (Funtouch OS).

Since its founding, Vivo has been an independent company, which does not belong to any company or group. In addition, the firm conducts its own research and development. They are responsible for developing their own products, since they do not share software or hardware with other companies. They currently have nearly 10,000 employees working in nine research and development centers in Asia and the United States.

After having become one of the best-selling brands in the world, thanks to being the second in China and a notable presence in Asia, Vivo is now preparing to enter Spain. This brand is also the owner of IQOO, created in 2019, its brand for gaming phones, which is a sub-brand, on which there is currently no data on its possible entry into Spain.

Origin of OnePlus

The family tree of OPPO, realme, Vivo and OnePlus 2

OnePlus was founded in 2013 by Pete Lau and Carl Pei. Lau had initially worked in the audiovisual segment at BBK and later spent several years at OPPO, in various divisions of the company, the last of which was the telephone segment. After leaving his position at OPPO, he founded OnePlus, which has OPPO as its sole shareholder, thus being owned by the firm.

Despite this, it is not a secondary or sub-brand, but both function as independent firms. From the beginning, OnePlus has gone high-end on Android. The goal of the firm was to launch high-end phones with reasonable prices. This is what has helped to gain a place in the market in just seven years.

Although the firm’s phones have been increasing in price with each generation, this year having its first phone of more than 1,000 euros, in one of the variants of the OnePlus 8 Pro. Therefore, this year they have also left us with a mid-range , the OnePlus Nord, a phone with a more adjusted price and it seems that in the near future they will continue to launch models in this segment.


The family tree of OPPO, realme, Vivo and OnePlus 3

realme is a brand that many users in Spain are already familiar with. Founded in 2018, this brand was originally born as a sub-brand of OPPO. Further, it was especially intended for the market in India, where they usually present and launch their new phones first. Although throughout 2019 the brand expanded its presence in the market, being already available in 20 countries in Asia and Europe, including China or Spain.

Since the end of last year, I’m really turning more and more in an independent brand, moving away a little more from OPPO, although they remain within the BBK group. Own manufacturing or the use of its own personalization layer, realme UI, have been two key elements in this brand independence.

realme has become one of the most prominent brands in Spain, with a large number of launches in the market, both phones and wearables, thus being one of the most popular brands of the moment in Spain.

Four brands in the same market

BBK Group companies

The arrival of Vivo to the Spanish market it will increase competition in the market. Although so far, brands have known how to differentiate themselves, so there is a gap in the market for each of them. Since they have opted for different strategies in their journey.

Vivo and OPPO have followed a more traditional strategy, launching their phones in physical stores mainly (although also available online), through agreements with distributors. While OnePlus has focused especially on online sales, in addition, having models focused on a very specific segment, they have not been or are direct competitors of these other brands. realme is a brand that focuses above all on price, being the cheapest of all. In addition, in his case, during his first year on the market he has focused mainly on India.

In Spain

BBK Electronic companies

The Spanish market is smaller than the Chinese market, so the competition is greater. In China they have been able to coexist for years, since each of them has followed a different strategy. In the Spanish market we can see that they maintain certain similarities with the strategy followed in China, although at the same time an adaptation is expected.

OnePlus continues to bet especially on an online strategy. The brand launches phones within the high-end range, seeking to be an alternative to brands such as Samsung in that segment, because its models come with a cheaper price.

OPPO has maintained a strategy similar to the one it has in China, with presence in online stores as well as conventional distributors. They have also launched their phones with operators. In addition, the brand opened its own online store, in order to expand its presence in this way, since at present the brand has a clear objective and is to occupy the hole of Huawei, which by not being able to use Google apps and services, is losing market share in Spain. While OPPO is one of the fastest growing brands in Spain.

realme is a brand whose strategy is based on price. It is known for leaving us with low priced phones, so competes directly with brands like Xiaomi and RedmiIn fact, some of its phones are released to compete with Redmi models in some market segments.

The strategy that Vivo will follow in the Spanish market is unknown at the moment. We will have to wait for your event to have more details on which phones are going to launch, as well as the sites where they will be able to buy them.

The entry The family tree of OPPO, realme, Vivo and OnePlus appears first in The Free Android.