Duan Yongping

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  • Post category:China

Name: Duan Yongping

Country: China

Date of Birth: 10th March 1961

Education: Graduation in Wireless Electronic Engineering from Zhejiang University. Masters in Econometrics from Renmin University.

Type of Business: Entrepreneur, Businessman, Founder and CEO of BBK Electronics.

Main Achievements: He has laid the foundation of the world’s most famous smartphone brands VIVO, OPPO, OnePlus, and Realme.

Something Interesting About the Person: Duan once said that Tim Cook, the Apple boss, didn’t even know him when they first met, but he probably does now. The godfather of smartphones in China, after making it big and toppling Apple, proudly says that.


Duan Yongping was born on 10th March 1961 in a modest family in the capital city of Jiangxi province, Nanchang, China. He graduated in wireless electronic engineering from the prestigious Zhejiang University in 1978. He went on to do his masters in econometrics from Renmin University. He also got enrolled in the China Europe International Business School as an EMBA student for two years. 

After his academic career, Duan started working at the Beijing Radio Tube Factory’s adult education center as a teacher. His next stop was at the state-run Vacuum Tube plant. At that time, China’s capital market was spreading like wildfire nationally and globally, and companies were generating huge revenues. Influenced by the revolution, Yongping decided to quit his job to begin his entrepreneurial ventures in 1989.

Yongping set off for Guangdong province to try his luck in the vast realm of business. In the beginning, he joined a newly established electronic plant in Zhongshan. The company was 2 million RMB in debt at the time he joined. Thanks to the essential skills and leadership of Yongping, the company soon recovered, and he was appointed as the CEO. It became one of the first companies of that time by the name Subor Electronics Industry Corporation.

Today Subor is one of the largest enterprises in China. It is engaged in the sale and development of high tech electronic equipment along with extensive scientific research. Subor has amassed reputable recognition in the manufacturing of learning computers. It also entered the world of video games and made its mark with the introduction of ‘Subor,’ an advanced dual-cartridge game console, which became a huge success and even gave Nintendo a run for the money. 

The world could see Subor at the summit of success. But Yongping took it as a stepping stone to set foot for even more significant discoveries. He finally left the company at the peak of its success on 28th August 1995. Soon after, Yongping started his venture by the name BBK (Bu Bu Gao) Electronics. At first, the company specialized in the production of DVD and Mp3 players. Looking at the consumer’s interests and needs of the industry, BBK started a subsidiary company with the name Bubugao Communication Equipment Co. This company started the manufacturing of feature-phones. 

By 2000, it was the biggest production house of feature phones in the market. However, the sales started to decrease by the end of the year, and Yongping thought it was wise to shut the company altogether not to hurt the employees and not prolong their due liabilities. But, one of his friends, Tony Chen, advised him to the contrary and asked him to open another subsidiary. In 2001, this idea came into being, and OPPO was founded, which manufactured smartphones along with music players and other electronic gadgets. This company also came in the subdivisions of the original BBK.

By 2007, iPhone and other smartphone giants introduced their newer products in the market, and it was time for BBK to up their game. BBK, with its subsidiaries, OPPO and VIVO, started to revamp the smartphones to cater to the demands of the users. This venture became a considerable success, and BBK sold around 26.7 million smartphones in the first quarter of the year. Currently, BBK is providing its services in over 100 countries around the globe.

BBK holds and operates four sub-division companies VIVO, OPPO, OnePlus, and Realme, all of which are incredibly successful in their structure and software.

Duan is also active in social works and established a family foundation in 2005. He also donated 40 million dollars to Zhejiang University.