One of the best smartphone brands in China, Vivo, seems to have added his colleagues, Oppo, Huawei and Xiaomi, to set up a new sub-brand as a softening market and increased competition among players at home to increase their original reach.

A new smartphone brand called iQoo made its debut on Weibo, China & # 39; s reply to Twitter, on Tuesday by greeting in English: "Hello, this is iQoo." It also encouraged people playfully to guess how the name is pronounced, because the spelling does not work. t resonates with Chinese or English speakers. Vivo immediately placed iQoo & # 39; s message again and named iQoo a new friend & # 39 ;.

Vivo has not further revealed its ties with iQoo, although the Weibo account of the latter is verified under the company name of Vivo. TechCrunch has contacted Vivo and will update the story when we have more information.

vivo iqoo

Screenshot of the first Weibo post from iQoo

Sub-brands have become a popular tactic for Chinese smartphone makers to attract new demographics without undermining and muddling their existing brand reputation. As the third-ranked player by shipments in 2018, according to research counter Counterpoint, Vivo is the only one in the top five of smartphone companies in China without a subsidiary.

"Sub-brands can help fill the gap in parent companies," said research director James Yan of Techpoint TechCrunch. "I think iQoo is a brand born for the gaming market, the online sales channel or young consumers, similar to what Honor did with Huawei."

Huawei has conquered its best place over the past year with solid growth of shipments by playing a dual strategy. The sub-brand Honor has focused on the middle range and Huawei remains at the top. Vivo & # 39; s brother Oppo, who falls under the same electronics production outfit BBK, came in 2018 with an exclusive online brand Realme to come up with Xiaomi's Redmi on the fast growing smartphone market of India. Xiaomi continued with the launch of Poco for the high-tier market in India. To further enhance the multi-faceted approach, Redmi released the branding of Xiaomi in January to operate as an independent brand that focuses on cost efficiency.

These movements came as the years of stubborn growth in China's smartphone site came to an end. The total sales of smartphones fell by 11 percent in 2018 according to Counterpoint, because users become more pragmatic and less likely to upgrade their handsets. Local players reacted quickly by going global and introduced key features such as the Xiaomi folding screen and the Honor pole punch display, which caused Apple and Samsung players worldwide trouble. In 2018 Huawei gained a market share of 25 percent to win the crown. Behind followed Oppo, Vivo, Xiaomi and Apple. Samsung dived into 67 percnet to take the seventh place.