Staff Reporters
Jun 17, 2021

Asia-Pacific Power List 2021: Lie Liu, Oppo

After unexpectedly taking the top marketing role at the Chinese brand, Liu has focused on moving its offerings upmarket and expanding its reach worldwide.

Asia-Pacific Power List 2021: Lie Liu, Oppo
Asia-Pacific’s 50 most influential and purposeful marketers

Lie Liu

President of global marketing
New member 

After unexpectedly being elevated to global president of marketing for Chinese smart phone giant Oppo in April last year, Lie Liu has had a busy time ensuring the brand stays at the top or close to the top of the domestic market, even as he fashions plans to grow its presence overseas. 

The former brand director for Oppo has focused on expanding Oppo’s presence in proximate markets in Southeast and South Asia, even as he has pushed the brand to tie up with mobile operators in Europe and Latin America as he seeks to ramp up Oppo’s global presence and front up to the likes of Apple and Samsung. 

While Oppo’s efforts hitherto in China and APAC have focused on working with retail stores, Liu has stepped up the brand’s relationships especially sharply in Europe, by inking pacts with the likes of Vodafone and Deutsche Telekom. In addition, he has strengthened Oppo’s brand recall by sponsoring marquee sports events such as the French Open Tennis grand slam and working with the Barcelona Football Club

From its origins as a mass-market smartphone leader, Liu has looked to position Oppo as a premium player in overseas markets, by touting top-end handsets and processing power, and video and still cameras. While the brand began 2020 expecting to make a big splash at Roland Garros, the venue for the French Open, the pandemic put paid to these plans. 

With spectators locked out, Liu’s team showcased the Find X2 Pro model's capabilities (especially using 5G networks) at a virtual call it hosted. The brand hosted calls with Guy Forget, a former top tennis pro and current tournament director and leading junior talent. In addition, an Oppo booth and the Oppo Photo Gallery were shot entirely on the Find X2 Pro by official photographers.

Liu is also focused on building the Oppo brand by other means. In May 2020, it announced the launch of the second season of the Oppo Campus Global Emerging Artists Project Renovators, which will call for art and design proposals from youth internationally. That edition of Renovators was jointly initiated by Oppo and Tsinghua University China-Italy Design Innovation Base (CIDIH), aiming to bring together creative and thoughts on design. 

As the brand begins to compete on the global stage, Oppo is also expanding its range to be seen as an electronics label, rather than just as a smartphone company. To this end, Liu has overseen the brand’s extension into new categories such as X True Wireless Noise Cancelling Earphones, Oppo Watch RX and a range of TVs. 

Liu summed up his brand’s global ambitions by signing up noted composer Hans Zimmer to score the Ringtones for the Find X3 Pro handset it recently launched. Oppo launched the 2121 Future Photography Project, to whichits global brand ambassador, Academy Award-winner Eddie Redmayne, will contribute. Redmayne will also feature in a collaboration with National Geographic photographer Joel Sartore, who will curate an 'Endangered Colour Campaign'. Finally, Oppo also announced it will support the National Geographic Society's Photo Ark project, which was founded by Sartore.

Asia-Pacific’s 50 most influential and purposeful marketers


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