Pete Lau, also known as Liu Zuohu, serves as the Chief Executive Officer of OnePlus, a renowned smartphone company he co-established alongside Carl Pei.
Pete Lau: The Visionary Leader of OnePlus
Born in Hanchuan, Hubei, China in 1975, Pete Lau graduated from Zhejiang University in 1998. His journey to co-founding OnePlus began with a role at Oppo, where he initially worked as a hardware engineer. He rapidly ascended to the position of Director of Oppo’s Blu-ray division, gaining a reputation for his meticulous attention to product details.
Lau’s career at Oppo continued to flourish, with his role evolving to Head of Marketing and eventually Vice President. During his tenure as Vice President, Lau introduced CyanogenMod, an open-source Android-based operating system, to Oppo’s N1.
In November 2013, after over a decade at Oppo, Pete Lau made the pivotal decision to resign and join forces with former colleague Carl Pei to establish OnePlus.
The OnePlus Journey
In December 2013, just a month after his departure from Oppo, Pete Lau co-founded OnePlus with Carl Pei. The company’s primary mission was to provide top-tier products at more accessible prices, a strategy that later earned OnePlus a reputation for its ‘flagship killer’ phones—high-quality devices at competitive prices. At its inception, OnePlus comprised just six employees.
OnePlus made its debut with the OnePlus One, announced in April 2014 and available for purchase in June of the same year. The OnePlus One featured the CyanogenMod operating system and was manufactured in Oppo’s facilities, as OnePlus had not yet established its own manufacturing facility.
Lau’s meticulous approach to product design was evident in the OnePlus One, garnering acclaim from tech reviewers. The device’s competitive pricing, roughly half that of similarly spec’d phones, made it all the more attractive.
The OnePlus One exceeded expectations, amassing nearly one million sales by December 2014. In subsequent years, OnePlus transitioned from CyanogenMod to OxygenOS as the default operating system for its phones.
From 2015 onward, OnePlus steadily expanded its reach and product portfolio, releasing a series of smartphones from the successful OnePlus 5 to the latest flagship, the OnePlus 11. As the brand gained popularity, prices saw gradual increases, but the company maintained its commitment to high-quality products and stayed closely connected with its fanbase through the OnePlus Community.
Diversifying its offerings, OnePlus introduced budget-friendly devices, exemplified by the OnePlus Nord series in 2020. The original OnePlus Nord received acclaim for its performance, display, fast charging capabilities, and competitive pricing. Subsequent models, including the OnePlus Nord 2 and OnePlus Nord 3, continued to uphold this tradition.
Pete Lau continues to lead OnePlus as its CEO, driving the company’s continued success and expansion. Additionally, OnePlus is rumored to be working on a foldable device, purportedly named the OnePlus Open.