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Huawei tightens grip on China's smartphone market

It corners 42% market share, growing at the expense of its rivals Oppo, Vivo and Apple, despite US sanctions

Shenzhen

HUAWEI Technologies lifted its share of China's smartphone market to a record 42 per cent, with third-quarter shipments rising by two-thirds as domestic consumers rallied behind it after US sanctions, data released on Wednesday showed.

The brand strengthened its dominance of the world's biggest smartphone market, even as the Chinese company was all but banned by the United States in May from doing business with American companies, significantly disrupting its ability to source key parts.

The world's No. 2 maker of smartphones has been granted a reprieve until November. Nevertheless, promotions and patriotic purchases have driven Huawei's smartphone sales in China, helping it more than offset a shipments slump globally.

While the Chinese smartphone market still contracted by 3 per cent in the third quarter compared to the year before, Huawei smartphones made up 41.5 million of the 97.8 million shipped in the period, according to data from market research firm Canalys.

Nicole Peng, Canalys vice-president of mobility, said: "Huawei opened a huge gap between itself and other vendors.

"Its dominant position gives it a lot of power to negotiate with the supply chain and to increase its wallet share within channel partners."

Huawei's growth came at the expense of main rivals Oppo, Vivo, Xiaomi and Apple, which together accounted for half the market in the third quarter, down from 64 per cent a year earlier.

The third-quarter sales also marked Apple's weakest quarter in China for five years, said Ms Peng.

However, she added that Apple received a boost from the launch of the iPhone 11 in September, with customers willing to wait two to three weeks to receive shipments of the newer models.

Huawei said last week it has sold more than 200 million phones globally so far this year, 64 days earlier than in 2018.

The company's profits remain resilient despite pressure from the United States, with revenue jumping 27 per cent in the third quarter.

Its flagship Mate 30 Pro 4G version, which Huawei unveiled in September, was not a big factor in its Q3 success, Canalys said, with most people waiting for the 5G version to launch later this year.

"Huawei is in a strong position to consolidate its dominance further amid the 5G network rollout, given its tight operator relationships in 5G network deployment and control over key components such as local network compatible 5G chipsets compared with local peers," said Canalys' Ms Peng.

"This puts significant pressure on Oppo, Vivo and Xiaomi, which find it very hard to make a breakthrough." REUTERS

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