OnePlus is taking on the mobile giants with almost no marketing budget. The two-year-old Chinese smartphone manufacturer co-founded by 26-year-old Carl Pei makes high-end phones that sell at a significantly lower price than those of its competitors. Its unique ‘invite only’ marketing strategy helped the brand sell 1.5 million phones globally in its first year of trading. The brand has now reached a sales volume where it can phase out the recommendation model but word-of-mouth still plays a crucial role. Although he admits it is a challenge as the company grows and more choices open up, Pei says he is committed to the brand’s core strategy.