OnePlus Names New China Exec as India Head Amid Retail Boycott

OnePlus Names New China Exec as India Head Amid Retail Boycott

Chinese smartphone titan OnePlus is experiencing a significant leadership change in India, with veteran executive Robin Liu returning to oversee operations. This shift occurs amid a boycott by offline retailers and the Indian government’s push for local leadership in major companies.

Robin Liu Returns as CEO Amid Leadership Shakeup

Liu, who previously led OnePlus India’s sales for nearly two years, is taking over from Lincle Peng, who has stepped down. This leadership transition also sees the departure of several senior executives, including Samrudh Pai, the former head of offline business, and Ranjeet Singh, the sales director. Singh is now tasked with leading the online sales channel.

The reshuffle comes at a crucial time for OnePlus India, which has been experiencing friction with its offline retailer network. In April, several major retail chains across various Indian states stopped selling OnePlus phones, citing issues such as low profit margins, delayed settlements of claims, and product bundling practices. The South Indian Organised Retailers Association (ORA) accused OnePlus of favoring online channels over traditional retail stores.

Challenges with Offline Retailers

The dissatisfaction has also spread to northern regions, where retailers accuse OnePlus of diverting stock from offline channels to online aggregators, thus disrupting sales cycles and tax collection. Although OnePlus claims to have resolved most outstanding issues, ORA members report that 10-20% of claims remain unsettled, leading to a continued halt in purchases since April.

The appointment of a Chinese executive to lead Indian operations stands in contrast to the Indian government’s efforts to promote local talent in leadership roles. This decision by OnePlus could further raise questions about the company’s commitment to the Indian market and its long-term strategy for offline retail partnerships.

Upcoming Launch Event

OnePlus has a launch event scheduled for July 16 in Milan, where it will unveil the Nord 4 smartphone. The phone is rumored to be a rebranded version of the China-only OnePlus Ace 3V and may feature a metal design, 120Hz AMOLED display, Snapdragon 7+ Gen 3 chip, and a 50MP main camera. Other anticipated launches include the OnePlus Watch 2R (the international version of the Watch 2) and the OnePlus Buds Pro 3.

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