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Samsung loses more market share in China

Chinese handset makers are fast gobbling up Samsung Electronics’ market share on their home turf.

According to market research firm Counterpoint Technology Research, Samsung’s market share in the all-important Chinese smartphone market was 7.7 percent last year, down from 12.8 percent a year ago.

Galaxy S7 Edge
Galaxy S7 Edge

The previously No. 2 player in the market barely secured the sixth position.

During the same period, Chinese companies have greatly increased their presence.

Xiaomi topped the list with 14.9 percent market share, followed by Huawei and Apple that gained 14.3 percent market share each. 

China smartphone sales rankings (Counterpoint)
China smartphone sales rankings (Counterpoint)

In particular, Chinese newcomers Vivo and Oppo saw their market shares more than doubling, outpacing Samsung. Based on their cheaper but sleek design handsets, Vivo and Oppo posted 8.4 percent and 7.8 percent market shares, respectively.

“The global smartphone market is estimated to see a 7 percent growth rate this year, a sharp decline from last year’s 13 percent. The No. 1 market China is also expected to see a moderate 3.5 percent growth rate,” Counterpoint said.

“Samsung remained the world’s largest smartphone market last year but it could not avoid sales drop in China due to less subsidiaries and market saturation.”

Samsung’s mobile chief Koh Dong-jin also admitted that the Korean tech giant suffered in the Chinese market in recent years but made it clear that this year will become a turning point, with the launch of the latest Galaxy S7.

“I have had several meetings with Chinese telecom carriers and retailers recently. I’m cautious to talk about the future for now, but I’m pretty confident that they are ready to offer more Samsung phones,” he said last week ahead of the latest flagship phone’s official launch on March 11.

As part of efforts to lure more loyal customers and elevate device sales overall, Samsung launched its mobile payments service Samsung Pay in China. The company also plans to start a new phone upgrade program, called Galaxy Club, in overseas markets in phases.

By Lee Ji-yoon (