A new Chinese smartphone giant is coming to Italy

chinese smartphone

This may seem like a strange time to write about the future commercial relationships between Italy and China, and yet, at a time when it seems impossible to think of our global economy going back to planning international joint ventures, there are companies in Italy and China that are doing exactly that. Vivo, one of China’s most promising smartphone companies is hoping to launch a new mid-range line on the European market. And it has chosen Italy as its first and most important partner. The official launch was supposed to happen at this year’s Mobile World Congress, which was cancelled alongside thousands of major events all over the world, but there is a feeling in the tech industry that Vivo’s European debut has merely been delayed.

A new Chinese smartphone giant is coming to Italy

Why haven’t you heard of Vivo before?

Vivo is not a small company. Its headquarters are in the Guandong province, not far from those of the well-known tech giant Huawei. So far, it has expanded to several Asian and middle-eastern countries and it is courting the worldwide top five Smartphone brands and preparing to challenge them. Why, then, have you never heard of it? Most probably because the western markets are still firmly in the grasp of giants such as Apple, Samsung, and Huawei. And why Vivo’s notoriety has undoubtedly been hindered by the Covid-19 epidemic, which has prevented any official launch event from being organised and has inevitably shifted the whole operation, we are ready to bet that this is but a temporary inconvenience for a Chinese company that currently sells over 100 Million Smartphones all over Asia and that is implementing 5G technology in its new models.

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Valuing talent and controlling the supply chain: a recipe for success

Vivo already has headquarters in Europe, specifically in Germany, and it attracts young talent from different countries. From there, it aims to launch in Italy as soon as possible – which is to say, as soon as the current crisis is over. One peculiarity of this brand is the firm intention to control every aspect of its production, from design to sales, managing the entire supply chain, so to speak, from blueprint to shop window. With this recipe for success, Vivo aims at conquering Europe – and Italy in particular.

chinese vivo smartphone

Martinsson Serg / CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)

The next big thing

Vivo aims at gaining traction on the European market – and the Italian one in particular, based on the strength of its pre-existing customer base, which comprises over 300 million users. They intend to channel their sales through major open retailers such as Mediaworld, targeting mostly young customers with smartphones, headsets, smartwatches and AR spectacles. They are shooting for a whole segment of the market, rather than a niche. Specifically, they are aiming for the hard-to-get middle-of-the-range user, whose budget is not particularly high, but whose expectations have been lifted by the current players’ excellent performance. However long it takes for Vivo to implement this operation, the European markets have a lot to look forward too in the near future.

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She is a part-time digital nomad. She would go full-time, if only she could stay away from Berlin for long enough without pining for a Pretzel. She was born in Italy and she enjoys life as an expat, but visits home often enough and can still remember how to bake a perfect lasagna. She is passionate about writing, marketing, languages and the systematic demolition of cultural stereotypes.

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