Oppo has unveiled plans to spend $1.16bn on research and development (R&D) over the next year as it prepares for the next generation 5G network.
The Chinese phone giant, which is currently the fifth-ranked smartphone brand behind Samsung, Huawei, Apple and Xiaomi globally, plans to double its R&D investment with 5G, artificial intelligence (AI), virtual reality and cloud computing as its key areas of focus.
Oppo plans to develop “multi-intelligent” phones that can integrate these new technologies and are powered by the 5G network.
Oppo, which is due to begin rolling out 5G devices this year, has also allocated RMB 1bn to encourage developers to create 5G enabled apps.
Mobile phone chip maker Qualcomm unveiled devices for 5G-enabled smartphones earlier this month.
The roll-out of next-generation 5G mobile networks is a key priority for China’s smartphone brands and is supported strongly by the Chinese government.
However, the US-China trade war has poured cold water on China’s ambitions with the US, Australia and New Zealand all recently blocking Huawei’s bids for the national 5G network vendors citing security concerns. Chinese company ZTE also faced product bans in the US-China trade war.
The moves, specifically the arrest of Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou in Canada, have led to a backlash in China, with Chinese firms incentivising employees to purchase and use local smartphone brands instead of Apple iPhones.
According to reports in Nikkei Asian Review, Chinese businesses are offering employees subsidies of between 10% and 20% of the price of Huawei smartphones. Some companies will even cover the full purchase price.