Oppo, OnePlus, and Realme Introduce Region Lock For Smartphones

Due to the high prices and often also due to a lack of availability, the import of smartphones from China via the appropriate intermediaries can be quite attractive. Oppo, OnePlus, and Realme are now apparently making this much more difficult because their devices are shipped with “regional locks” in China.

As colleagues from AndroPlus from Spain report, new smartphones from the brands OnePlus, Oppo, and Realme have recently been sold in China with a kind of region lock. The devices could therefore not be easily used in Europe or other regions outside of China. at least as far as the telephony functions are concerned.

The lock does not affect everything

With smartphones from China, it is not possible to make phone calls in the case of a region lock. Starting and using the devices for purposes other than telephony is apparently quite possible. Access to the mobile Internet, 5G mobile communications, and some other SIM functions should also not be usable.

According to the report, the lock applies if the devices are to be used with a SIM card that is not from China. Corresponding information is displayed by the respective operating system when the devices are commissioned in countries outside of China. Specifically, Russia, Brazil, India, and Italy are named as countries in which the lock should take effect. However, this probably also affects other regions and countries.

It is still unclear why the smartphone brands, all of which belong to the Chinese conglomerate BBK, block devices from China for use with foreign SIM cards. Apparently, the whole thing is related to the official availability of the devices in certain countries. For example, Oppo, Realme, and OnePlus do not officially offer their smartphones in Brazil. However, OnePlus is quite active in India and Italy, for example.