Lenovo could be about to kill off Chinese sub-brand ZUK in an attempt to further integrate the company under Moto branding.
Not too long ago, Lenovo announced a plan to integrate all existing phone brands under one umbrella. The idea is an attempt to capitalise on the Motorola name, which will be shortened to Moto and used on all handsets going forward. The Vibe line will be the first to see this change, but it seems that Lenovo is also planning to integrate ZUK into that vision. The spin-off brand is available primarily in the native Chinese market and has enjoyed relative success, despite only starting in May 2015.
The news of Lenovo killing the ZUK brand comes from Weibo user @Old Cool, who said there will be no ZUK Z3 smartphone in the future. Pan Jiutang, a Chinese analyst, then confirmed that the ZUK hardware business was going to be shutdown. None of these statements are official, but with the announcement by Lenovo of an intended brand synergy, it makes sense to cut from the bottom. ZUK handsets have typically been powerful flagship killers which cram in top-level hardware at a cheaper price.
Weibo user @Zheng Jun further commented on the rumour, stating a shake-up at Lenovo which will see ZUK co-founder Chen Xudong move back to Lenovo’s PC business arm, where he worked before the formation of ZUK. Qiao Jian, the current Senior Vice President and Co-President of Lenovo’s Mobile Business, will be appointed the new head of Lenovo Mobile China. Kirk B Skaugen will remain head of Lenovo’s data center operations.
The announcement seems to contradict the previous rumour of ZUI on Moto devices, since the company is effectively killing off the brand. While the UI may appear on Chinese devices, we wouldn’t expect to see it in Europe and US markets, where stock Android is held in much higher regard.