With ever-slimmer margins, making and selling smartphones in China has become riskier and more difficult. Not only is the market awash in foreign brands from Samsung and Apple, but local rivals like Xiaomi, Oppo, ZTE, Huawei, and Vivo fight each other and dozens of smaller mobile phone firms.
So news that Chinese smartphone maker Oneplus has officially announced that they have closed all their self-owned offline retail stores in Beijing and Shanghai is not surprising.
Starting in November 2015, the upstart smartphone company gradually closed 45 offline experience stores, which were operated with Oppo, across China. With the closure of its final two flagship stores, Oneplus will no longer have any self-owned offline channel in the country.
Shenzhen-based Oneplus has put a marketing spin on why it has closed all of its retail outelts. The company said it strives for fine products and flagship products, and they want to make sure that their production resource efficiency can be improved. Oneplus further pointed out to Chinese media that in the future, the company will enhance investments in software development, focus on e-commerce channel sales, and provide high-performance and well-designed products to consumers.
In June 2016 when the company launched its Oneplus 3 smartphone, its chief executive officer Liu Zuohu said during an interview that the company would fully focus on the online sales channel in China and soon give up offline channels. Meanwhile, they plan to promote the development of Oneplus with good products and enhanced reputation.