Samsung Records Worst-Ever Performance in China

  • By Kang Dong-cheol

    November 20, 2018 12:49

    Samsung is struggling in the Chinese smartphone market, selling only 700,000 smartphones in the world's most populous country in the third quarter of this year, according to U.S. market researcher Strategy Analytics on Monday.

    That is a paltry 0.7 percent share of the market and Samsung's worst-ever performance there. Samsung's market share ranked 11th not only way behind its big Chinese rivals Huawei, OPPO, Vivo and Xiaomi, but also small companies like China Mobile and Sugar.

    Back in 2014, Samsung took 19 percent of the Chinese market with sales of around 18 million phones. But since then sales have been dwindling as local rivals make phones that are much cheaper and just as good while Korea remains in bad odor with the Chinese government and state media.

    In a bid to overcome a declining market share there, Samsung is selling an ever more bewildering range of phones, from mid-range models like the Galaxy A and J series to the premium model like Galaxy S and Note series, in addition to the Chinese-customized models such as Galaxy S Lite and Galaxy W which are exclusively available in China. But all are falling behind Apple and local rivals.

    Now the Korean giant is changing its manufacturing system and sales strategy to turn things around. Samsung on Nov. 1 launched its first ODM smartphone there, the Galaxy A6s, which is in fact designed and manufactured by China's Wingtech. It only costs around W300,000 but has a 6-inch OLED display and dual cameras (US$1=W1,127).

    Plus Samsung is focusing on online sales via JD.com, China's second-biggest e-commerce company, as many Chinese consumers buy phones online.

    "After reorganizing its sales network in China last year, Samsung recently outsourced design and manufacturing to a local company, but so far that has not produced any noticeable results," said an industry insider.

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