Report: China Baoli firing Russian staff from YotaPhone maker
MOSCOW, Sep 14 (PRIME) -- China Baoli has started pushing aside Russian specialists, who conceived the dual-screen YotaPhone, and started firing top managers of its manufacturer Yota Devices in Russia, news portal Life said in a report, seen by PRIME on Wednesday.
A source in the Russian company told Life that the Chinese company, which bought 30% in Yota Devices from fund Telconet Capital, is dissolving the local office of the manufacturer of dual-screen smartphones.
China Baoli will independently produce smartphones YotaPhone 3 with a local research and development center. The source said Alexander Pisarev, vice president of Yota Devices for products, left the company earlier in September, and 14 engineers were fired. Pisarev confirmed he had left the company, because all development functions were handed over to the Chinese team from CoolPad, a partner of China Baoli.
Not all Russian specialists were dismissed, a part of them was left within the Chinese team, Pisarev said.
УPrototypes and all technical documents for the manufacture of the third YotaPhone were prepared at the end of 2015; we chose (ChinaТs) ZTE and signed preliminary agreements under promises of the new Chinese investors to finance the project,Ф Pisarev said.
УIn such a way, the new generation of phones could have been launched already at the end of summer 2016 and offered for sale in September, but the Chinese party de-facto cancelled all plans and insisted on a layoff of the Russian team, trying to form an alternative product and technical team in China and gain control over technologies bypassing the remaining Russian shareholders through a transfer of developments to China.Ф
CoolPad lacks experience in the production and distribution of sophisticated dual-screen products, and the initiative could result in the degradation of the YotaPhone project and failures in sales, Pisarev said.
The source said neither state industrial giant Rostec, owning 25.1% in Yota Devices, nor Telconet Capital with 34.9% are taking pains to keep business and intellectual property.