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Strengthening the IT and digital location: Three Chinese tech corporations move to North Rhine-Westphalia

The Chinese technology companies OPPO, VIVO and Xiaomi are opening branches in Düsseldorf, the state capital of North Rhine-Westphalia. All three are among the most important digital corporations in China and intend to conquer the German and European markets from North Rhine-Westphalia as part of their expansion strategy. Of the six smartphone producers with the world's largest market shares, four will be based in Düsseldorf in future (source: Counterpoint Research). OPPO had already announced in the middle of the year that it would establish its European headquarters in Düsseldorf in order to expand its mobile phone business. Now VIVO and Xiaomi are following suit: VIVO is also establishing its European sales and operations center in Düsseldorf and Xiaomi is opening its first German office here to sell its smartphones and smart home devices. The state-owned economic development agency NRW.INVEST is advising and supporting all three companies in their settlement.

"The investments show how important the German market has now become for Chinese technology companies. The new 5G mobile communications standard offers companies enormous sales opportunities. At the same time, it opens up a wide range of opportunities for North Rhine-Westphalia as a business location – be it smart solutions for end customers or the digital networking of production processes," said NRW Economics and Digital Affairs Minister Prof. Dr. Andreas Pinkwart.

The three manufacturers are in good company at the Düsseldorf location: the Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei has been based with its European headquarters in Düsseldorf since 2007, as has Zhongxing Telecommunications Equipment (ZTE) with its German headquarters. "North Rhine-Westphalia, with its state capital, is an extremely attractive location for Chinese telecommunications companies. They profit here from a strong market, high purchasing power and a broadly diversified industry environment with the most important mobile network operators and network equipment manufacturers. The settlement of the three Chinese technology corporations completes the mobile communications cluster in North Rhine-Westphalia and ensures the location's international competitiveness," explains Petra Wassner, CEO of NRW.INVEST.

OPPO: Guangdong OPPO Mobile Telecommunications was founded in 2003 in Dongguan and is a leading global provider of mobile phones. Over 200 million people worldwide use OPPO smartphones. The company has already gained market share in Europe through European operators such as Orange in France and Movistar in Spain. OPPO has around 20,000 employees, generating sales of around 19.7 billion euros in 2018. The company is focusing on expansion in the German and European market, and OPPO is also investing heavily in R&D and owned more than 5,000 patents at the end of 2018.  

VIVO: VIVO Communication Technology is based in Dongguan, Guangdong Province and was founded in 2010. The hi-tech company focuses on the production of mobile devices as well as software and online services and employs around 20,000 people. In 2018, sales amounted to approx. 19.7 billion euros. VIVO currently operates six of its own research centers in China and the USA as well as four production facilities in Asia. In addition, the company is involved in research in the areas of 5G communication technology and artificial intelligence. On the European market, VIVO is only represented in a few countries so far, for example in Poland and Russia.

Xiaomi: Founded in Beijing in 2010, Xiaomi is now one of the world's largest manufacturers of smartphones and smart home devices. Xiaomi was the youngest company to be included in the Fortune Global 500 list this year. The company employs over 23,000 people worldwide and generated sales of approximately 22.3 billion euros in 2018. Xiaomi is already officially represented in many European countries, and the German market is the company's next growth target. In addition to setting up the Düsseldorf office, which controls both sales and customer service, Xiaomi is bringing further components of the business model such as the e-commerce platform mi.com and its own shops to Germany.