Instead, OPPO became still more expert at incentivising its physical retailers. It has shown itself willing to share some of its profits with local stores. It uses a sophisticated system of subsidies that vary by model and season. One retailer in a small town in Sichuan says that although he sells many brands of smartphones, OPPO’s generous subsidies make him extra-eager to peddle its wares.
“What I see in Japan…is that behind all these notions of politeness, snobbism etc, the Japanese are well aware that something which may appear superficial and unnecessary has a much deeper structural function,” says the psychoanalytical philosopher Slavoj Zizek. Even though these child-like characters may seem like an odd joke to Westerners, they have historically played a serious role in the Japanese psyche and continue to do so today. “A totally ridiculous thing at a deeper level might play a stabilizing function we are not aware of,” Zizek continues. “Everybody laughs at the English monarchy, but you’ll never know.”