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Most China Phone Brands See Sales Fall in Second Quarter

Consumers tightened their purse strings, and business activity slowed amid China’s pursuit of its “zero-Covid” strategy to stamp out infections


Sales of top Chinese smartphone brands, except Honor, slumped 14% in April-June, Counterpoint Research data showed.
People walk past an ad for Huawei smartphones at an airport in Shenzhen, Guangdong province. Honor, which was formally spun out of Huawei Technologies in 2021, was the only saving grace and its share of the market surged to 18.3% from 7.7%. File photo: Reuters.

 

Sales of top Chinese smartphone brands, except Honor, slumped 14% in April-June, research showed, as stringent lockdowns in the wake of rising Covid-19 infections restricted mobility and production.

Consumers tightened their purse strings, and business activity slowed amid China’s pursuit of its “zero-Covid” strategy to stamp out infections.

The commercial hub of Shanghai was locked down in April-May and strict pandemic curbs nationwide continue to weigh on consumer spending.

Quarterly sales volumes were 12.6% lower than those seen in the first quarter of 2020, when the pandemic hit China and sales were the worst since the fourth quarter of 2012, when the iPhone 5 was introduced, according to Counterpoint Research.

The research firm does not give unit sales estimates.

Honor, which was formally spun out of Huawei Technologies in 2021, was the only saving grace and its share of the market surged to 18.3% from 7.7%, making it the second-best selling player, behind Vivo.

Sales, meanwhile, more than doubled.

“Honor’s coverage in lower-tier cities, which saw fewer lockdowns, helped it steer through the turbulence in Q2 2022,” Mengmeng Zhang, a research analyst at Counterpoint, said.

Apple ranked as the fourth top-selling brand, with a market share of 15%. The iPhone maker’s quarterly sales volumes dropped 5.8%, a smaller blow compared with Oppo, Xiaomi, and Vivo.

The Cupertino-based firm has seen comparatively stable sales in China in the past few years. Earlier this week, however, it announced discounts in China, a move it occasionally makes when sales are slow.

 

  • Reuters with additional editing by Jim Pollard

 

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Jim Pollard

Jim Pollard is an Australian journalist based in Thailand since 1999. He worked for News Ltd papers in Sydney, Perth, London and Melbourne before travelling through SE Asia in the late 90s. He was a senior editor at The Nation for 17+ years and has a family in Bangkok.

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