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vivo cannot sell its phones in this European market (Update)

Update: vivo has directed us to an older statement on the matter.

Published onJune 11, 2023

vivo X Fold 2 back cover
Hadlee Simons / Android Authority
  • After OnePlus and OPPO, now vivo has also stopped sales in the German market due to a patent dispute with Nokia, the Finnish equipment supplier.
  • vivo’s German website does not list any products for sale. The company continues to offer customer service for products already sold.
  • vivo has directed us to an older statement on the matter.

Update: June 12, 2023 (03:30 AM ET): vivo hasn’t issued a new response on the matter, but instead directed us to a translated statement it quietly posted on May 30.

The statement notes that the company hasn’t been able to reach an agreement with Nokia about renewing its cross-license agreements. The statement also confirmed the suspension of sales and marketing of products in Germany. vivo also asserts that after-sales service and software updates aren’t affected by this saga.

Original article: June 9, 2023 (08:44 AM ET): Last year, OPPO and OnePlus were banned from selling their phones in Germany, thanks to a patent dispute ruled against them. Now vivo is following suit, as it has removed its store page in Germany, presenting no way for consumers to purchase vivo smartphones in the country for the foreseeable future.

As reported by WinFuture, vivo has stopped selling smartphones and other products in Germany. Visiting vivo’s German website confirms the same to be true.

vivo german website notice for stopping sales
Vivo's German website

The text in the image above roughly translates into:

Unfortunately, vivo products are not available in Germany at the moment. Accordingly, no product information is available on our German website. If you use a vivo product, you can continue to rely on our customer service. You will also receive future software updates.

vivo does not specifically mention any reasons for the closure of its store, nor does it note whether this move is temporary or permanent. We’ve reached out to vivo for a statement and will update the article once we hear back from them.

WinFuture reports that this exit is due to the patent dispute with Nokia (the Finnish equipment supplier, and not HMD Global which owns the Nokia smartphone brand). Nokia accused vivo of infringing patents related to WLAN connections in its smartphones. German courts have ruled in favor of Nokia, and as a result, vivo has had to pull its products from the country. This is the same cause of action that affected OnePlus and OPPO too.

OPPO and OnePlus were reportedly considering exiting several European markets and the UK. However, OPPO clarified that it is not leaving the German market (or any of the others), but the business in Germany has been put on hold due to the injunction. As of April 2023, OPPO attempted to negotiate with Nokia on the same, although OPPO’s German website remains empty as of writing this news article.

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