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Global mobile brands find lines busy in China (10)

(China Daily)

13:29, September 24, 2012

The powerhouse

China has the world's largest mobile population, with 1.06 billion mobile phone accounts as of July, according to the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology. It reached the billion landmark in March, becoming the world's first country to achieve it, thanks to people's eagerness to connect with each other.

The country took less than five years to double its mobile phone accounts to 1 billion, adding subscribers at a steady pace between 8 million to 12 million a month in recent years.

The huge subscriber base is the most important reason for China rising as a heavyweight in the global mobile phone industry. According to research firm Strategy Analytics, China overtook the United States in terms of smartphone shipments in the third quarter last year.

"China is now at the forefront of the worldwide mobile computing boom," said Neil Mawston, executive director at Strategy Analytics. "The nation has become a large and growing smartphone market that no hardware vendor, component maker or content developer can afford to ignore."

Sabrina Ren, research manager with GfK Group, said China is the strongest growth driver for the world's smartphone industry. The country is expected to achieve a growth rate of 109 percent in terms of smartphone shipments in 2012, almost three times that of the rest of the world's estimated average during the same period, GfK statistics show.

In addition, China, as the largest mobile phone manufacturing base across the globe, has started to influence markets outside the country.

In the first half of this year, China produced 535 million mobile devices, of which about 85 percent were exported overseas to markets such as South Asia, Africa and Middle East, according to the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.

Meanwhile, with the rise of Chinese handset brands, such as Huawei's and ZTE's, some major market trends in China are having a global impact, said Ren.

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