OnePlus is shuttering regional offices throughout Europe, Engadget reports.
Most employees located in the United Kingdom, France, and Germany were laid off, signaling that OnePlus desires to streamline its operations in Europe and focus on a handful of countries. Per the report, OnePlus downsized its staff in these regional offices by as much as 80 percent. OnePlus allegedly wants to reallocate resources toward countries where its smartphones are popular and feature less competition.
Skeletal teams remain; however, they’re roughly three people each in size and might lose their jobs in the end. OnePlus reduced its staff in Italy and Spain last summer before ultimately letting go of all employees. Engadget noted that, prior to the latest round of layoffs, OnePlus’ global operations consisted of around 2,000 employees. Since there are significant cuts throughout Europe, OnePlus’ workforce could drop sharply.
OnePlus acknowledged the layoffs but labeled them as part of a “restructuring” effort. “Europe is a very important market for us and has been since the beginning of OnePlus,” a spokesperson said. “We’re doing some strategic restructuring in Europe, and in fact are even hiring in the region.” Sources tell Engadget that OnePlus appears focused on Belgium, Denmark, Finland, and the Netherlands. It’s largely expected that Helsinki will soon act as the location of OnePlus’ European headquarters, replacing London.
Like other companies, OnePlus ran into the coronavirus outbreak. Yet that doesn’t seem like the only catalyst for the layoffs in Europe. OnePlus hasn’t established trusted, consistent relationships with carriers to sell its smartphones. While EE and O2 partnered with OnePlus in the past, Three serves as the UK’s exclusive carrier offering the OnePlus 8 and 8 Pro.
OnePlus, which operates as a BBK Electronics-owned subsidiary, isn’t completely winding down despite the restructuring of its operations in Europe. Both of its latest smartphones are earning praise, and OnePlus also rolled out an advertising campaign with Robert Downey Jr. So while restructuring amid a global pandemic seems like a bad sign of things to come, OnePlus still seems set to continue its ‘us-against-the-world’ approach in consumer technology.