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Minus Huawei, Chinese phone makers face challenges at home and abroad

By Jules Wang February 14, 2019, 8:45 pm
Mate 20 Pro report

The Chinese smartphone market is shrinking and most Chinese smartphone makers can’t grow fast enough in foreign markets to cope.

In its latest quarterly analysis, Digitimes has estimated that Chinese phone makers have shipped 5.9 percent fewer phones in the fourth quarter a year ago to 195 million units.

Huawei is the outright exception to the downward trend, recording a net gain of 12 million units from 2017 with strong sales performance from the Mate 20 Pro and a domestic rally of support around the company in the wake of CFO Meng Wanzhou’s arrest in Canada — notably, as some analysts point out, to the detriment of foreign brand Apple.


Xiaomi lost 4 million units with decreased demand in China and erosive competition in India where, despite losing unit sales, the company won in market share and beating longtime leader Samsung. OPPO shipments slid by less than a million units as its Realme sub-brand found traction in India. vivo lost ground on both domestic and foreign fronts, losing 3 million units — it recently launched what looked to be a global sub-brand, iQOO.

Digitimes forecasts first quarter shipments to drop 8 percent year over year to 140 million units.


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