Facing the competition agreement, Chang Cheng, Liu zuohu and Li Bingzhong live in two worlds

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By Gong Jinhui
Source: Gong Jinhui (ID: gongjinhui2)
At the end of last year, Chang Cheng, the then head of Lenovo’s mobile phone, announced his resignation. Two days later, he joined Xiaomi with a high profile, which once embarrassed Lenovo officials who had been slapped. The latter explained that Chang Cheng left on the basis of personal health and family. Now, it’s Chang Cheng’s turn to be embarrassed because he was awarded a fine of 5.25 million yuan by Beijing Haidian District Labor and personnel dispute arbitration committee, and continued to perform the obligation of non competition.
Although Chang Cheng refused to accept the lawsuit and filed a lawsuit, the public opinion seems not optimistic about the prospect of the lawsuit. On the one hand, according to common sense, it is the industry practice for executives of large companies to sign non competition agreements, especially in industries with fierce competition. At that time, Chang Cheng was in an important position in Lenovo, and Lenovo’s mobile phone industry was killed to the bone. It was normal to sign a non competition agreement.
On the other hand, Lenovo took out Chang Cheng’s real hammer to sign the non competition agreement. Although he did not recognize the authenticity of his signature, the Institute of science and technology appraisal of the French University Court has appraised the Lenovo restrictive agreement signed by Chang Cheng on July 24, 2017, and the appraisal conclusion shows that it is Chang Cheng himself.
There is no room for Chang Cheng to deny him. Knowing that he is carrying a non competition agreement, he is still determined to jump to Xiaomi. He is in the first place and lacks the spirit of contract. There is nothing wrong with Lenovo’s active right protection. However, the real purpose of his choice of appeal seems not to seek an explanation for himself, but to have the suspicion of deliberately delaying, so as to try to delay until the expiration of the non competition agreement, so as to reduce or even avoid punishment.
Interestingly, Chang Cheng’s situation is quite different from Liu zuohu and Li Bingzhong, which is similar to that of Liu zuohu and Li Bingzhong. The former and the old owners of the dispute, very unhappy, the latter two calmly continue to dig mobile phone track. Of course, there are still some differences in their reemployment. Chang Cheng changed jobs from Lenovo to Xiaomi, while Liu zuohu and Li Bingzhong set up new doors after they left oppo.
Perhaps you may ask why Chang Cheng is limited by the non competition agreement, while Liu zuohu and Li Bingzhong are able to go light? In short, if Chang Cheng violates the non competition agreement and changes jobs to Lenovo’s competitor Xiaomi, Lenovo naturally is not willing to. However, Liu zuohu’s and Li Bingzhong’s so-called alternative portal is a false proposition from the beginning to the end. Instead, it remains in the oppo system in another form, so it is not bound by the competition agreement, or even does not exist at all.
Tencent’s “deep net” has restored Liu zuohu’s departure from oppo and founded Yijia. On a Saturday in November 2013, oppo CEO Chen Mingyong called him and said that if we want to build a new brand, how about you take charge of it? Liu zuohu did not hesitate or discuss with his family. He immediately agreed because he believed that Chen Mingyong made the decision after careful consideration.
Liu zuohu said that the only requirement he asked Chen Mingyong at that time was that he had to start a new business and set up a completely independent new company. Otherwise, the employees would feel that they could hold oppo. At noon the next day, Chen Mingyong called a group of senior executives of oppo to have a meal, and informed all the people of the above decision on the spot. Liu zuohu quickly left the office of oppo. A month later, the mobile phone company Yijia founded by Liu zuohu was officially established.
I’d like to draw the following points for you: 1. Liu zuohu founded Yijia under the guidance of Chen Mingyong. He is only the executor and promoter of Chen Mingyong’s ideas; 2. Although Liu zuohu emphasizes that Yijia is a completely independent new company, he still shares oppo’s strong supply chain and manufacturing resources after its real start. Therefore, Yijia has been closely related to oppo from the first day of its birth.
By the way, starting a business needs start-up capital. Even if Liu zuohu is rich, he can’t support Yijia’s development with his own strength. I don’t know if you have found that in the past seven years since its establishment, Yijia has never disclosed its financing progress, but it has not made profits until 2016. How can we survive the three-year loss period? The reason is very simple, because oppo, as a supporter, generously gives money to resources, so that it can live well even in the case of losses.
According to the enterprise investigation, the group holds 100% of the shares of oppo (oppo Guangdong Mobile Communication Co., Ltd.) and indirectly holds 74.07% of the shares of Shenzhen wanplas Technology Co., Ltd., the main business entity of one Canada. This means that oppo is an enlarged shareholder. Since they have this special relationship, all doubts will be solved.
For example, why has Yijia never announced financing news from the government? Because of the oppo blood transfusion. Why did Liu zuohu still fight in the mobile phone industry after he left oppo, but oppo didn’t object? Because it was inspired by Chen Mingyong, oppo not only did not oppose it, but also welcomed it. How can we share supply chain and manufacturing resources with oppo? Because they are a family, yours is mine.
In other words, if one family does not speak two words, perhaps there is no competition agreement between Liu zuohu and oppo. In October last year, Luo Yonghao, Liu zuohu’s good foundation friend, told the truth of Yijia’s rise. “Yijia is a wholly-owned subsidiary of oppo. Although Liu zuohu is more powerful in many aspects, it is not called entrepreneurship.”
So is Li Bingzhong. At the end of July 2018, Li Bingzhong announced that he would leave oppo and join in the entrepreneurship of realme. At that time, Chen Mingyong, who rarely spoke on the microblog, sent two messages to send out his blessing. The implication behind his tweet was that you tasted, you tasted carefully. Since then, Li Bingzhong’s actual operation of realme is basically the same as Liu zuohu’s trading style. He relies on big trees to enjoy the cool. He does not have to worry about financing, but also enjoys the support of oppo supply chain and production and manufacturing resources.

In May last year, realme officially returned to the domestic market, and Li Bingzhong responded for the first time to the relationship with oppo. “First of all, realme is a completely independent brand, not an oppo subsidiary. We are only supported by oppo’s supply chain, procurement and manufacturing. At present, oppo coloros is still used, but whether it will be used all the time in the future may depend on the needs of users. The relationship between realme and oppo is not like Xiaomi and Hongmi, Huawei and glory. ”
“It’s just,” Li Bingzhong said easily. Oppo’s supply chain and manufacturing are exclusive resources, and they are huge advantages that other players can’t envy. Even if friends want to share, they have no way to share them. However, he said that resource sharing was so light and I was drunk.
“Realme is a brand that operates independently. We share some supply chain and production with oppo. It is more like a weapon of realme. It is more on the shoulders of giants. It is just a starting point, but it is not restricted by the brand.” Xu Qi, a real CMO, also echoed. No matter how hard they try to clear that realme is not a subsidiary of oppo, there is no wave in my heart: you argue hard, I promise not.
At the end of November last year, Chung Hsiang Wei, chief business officer of realme in China, said in an interview with foreign media that if realme’s business scale continues to expand, as a sub brand of oppo, realme may be independent from its parent company. Although it is not consistent with Li Bingzhong and Xu Qi, I admire the honesty of this senior executive and his courage to directly pierce that layer of window paper.
In fact, people on earth have long known that Yijia and realme are oppo’s own sons, and their relationship is extraordinary. However, they are always secretive, trying to get rid of it and emphasizing their independent operation rather than the relationship between father and son. Believe it or not, I don’t believe it. What is worth pondering is that since this year, the three seem to have finally stopped hiding. Although they have not publicly announced that they are one family, they have adopted various actions to keep a low profile of their marriage.
Let me list four solid hammers, and you can feel them:
1. In January this year, oppo chip TMG (Technical Committee) had more detailed planning and personnel appointment, and it was “responsible for the chip platform definition of the whole group and the leading type in the chip development field”. Realme and Yijia technical personnel also joined the chip TMG expert group. It can be seen that “core making” is the whole eucar group (including oppo and realme) And one plus) one of the important directions for the future.
Never mind the as like as two peas. 2, in January of this year, realme CMO Xu’s micro-blog certification suddenly changed to “vice president of realme and global marketing president”. Among them, global marketing president is exactly the same as the OPPO executive Shen Yiren and Liu Lun, and other executives almost do not need to rise. It’s hard to convince people that realme is not related to OPPO, and obviously to keep up with the parent company.
3. In June this year, oppo announced that Liu zuohu would return to oppo as its chief product experience officer, committed to improving the user experience of relevant intelligent terminal products of the Oujia group. In principle, oppo and Yijia are competitors to each other. If Yijia has nothing to do with oppo, how can Liu zuohu hold an important position in the competitor company? This is obviously unreasonable.
4. In July this year, oppo mall’s wechat applet was officially upgraded to Oujia Mall (later renamed as Huantai mall). The introduction of the mall mentioned “converging three brands of oppo, Yijia and realme”. Yijia and realme can enjoy the after-sales service of oppo. Their new machines also regard Huantai mall as an important starting position, such as realme V5 and the soon to be released one plus 8t.
All kinds of signs show that oppo, Yijia and realme are all affiliated to the OGA group, known as the “three brothers of the green factory”, and the actual controller behind it is Chen Mingyong. After all, Liu Binghu’s family members can start a new business without competing with each other for resources.
As Luo Yonghao said, Liu zuohu and Li Bingzhong are not real entrepreneurs. They are typical second-generation rich entrepreneurs with golden spoon. They just co-exist with oppo in a different form. In essence, they are still oppo. This also explains why Chang Cheng is different from Liu zuohu and Li Bingzhong in the face of the non competition agreement. Chang Cheng is envious of the high-level treatment of the latter two.
To put it bluntly, there are essential differences between the two sides. Chang Cheng does not abide by the spirit of the contract and changes his job willfully, which Lenovo can’t bear. Liu zuohu and Li Bingzhong were appointed to change their posts in the OGA group with big family and big business, which is strongly supported by Chen Mingyong.
(statement: This article only represents the author’s point of view, not Sina’s position.)