Vivo the latest Chinese brand to suspend phone sales in Germany

  • Smartphone maker Vivo has announced that it will be suspending sales of its devices in Germany.
  • It is the third Chinese brand to do so in recent months, with OnePlus and OPPO doing the same.
  • The suspension of sales comes after a patent dispute involving Nokia.

Vivo has suspended the sale of its smartphones in Germany. The decision was confirmed via its website this week, with a banner notifying consumers that “Vivo products are currently not available in Germany”.

The decision was originally discovered by WinFuture, but follows a decision handed down by the Mannheim Regional Court in April, with two other Chinese phone brands – OnePlus and OPPO – having to implement a similar suspension.

As the publication notes, all three brands fall under BBK Electronics as subsidiaries, with the likes of realme also a part of the company.

The suspensions come after Nokia filed a patent dispute in the region over broadband technology, and in particular for finding that these companies were processing its 4G and 5G signals without paying for a license to do so.

Nokia is said to be casting its gaze to other companies in Germany too, so we could see more brands announcing a freeze as they try to iron out issues with the Finnish telecommunications giant.

Vivo still has aspirations to continue its business in Germany in the long-term, but in the interim has been forced to take the current steps.

It is unclear whether similar disputes will happen in other parts of the world. When the Nokia lawsuit first surfaced in August of last year, it has not had any impact of the business or operations of OPPO here in South Africa. It also has not stopped Vivo from pursuing its local plans, having launched a pair of premium mid-range phones earlier this month, as well as hinting at foldables launching in SA too this year.

As such, this looks to be more of a legal hiccup, opposed to the full on sanctions that Chinese brands like Huawei face in the US.

For now, you can still purchase Vivo devices in Germany at retailers, with the stock already in-market available to buy, but don’t expect new offerings in the coming months while this dispute persists.


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