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Chinese smartphones win market share and positive reputation in Europe

(People's Daily Online)    09:19, September 17, 2018

 Photo shows local customers buying Xiaomi products from the authorized Xiaomi store in Paris. (Gong Ming/People’s Daily)

Chinese smartphone brands such as Huawei, Xiaomi, OnePlus, and OPPO have gained increasing popularity in the European market, even though Europe's smartphone market has become saturated.

Sales of French-made smartphones declined by 5 percent in 2017; Korean company Samsung, though topping the list, also saw a shrinking market share; while Chinese smartphone makers take up almost 30 percent of the European market, according to latest statistics released by the International Data Corporation (IDC), a US-based company that provides services covering market research and analysis.

During the second quarter of this year, the sales volume of Huawei mobile phones doubled year-on-year, exceeding 6.7 million. With its market share increasing from 16 percent to 24.8 percent over the last year, the company has outperformed Apple (22.5 percent) and become the second largest mobile phone provider in Europe.

Besides Huawei, other Chinese mobile phone brands have also gained popularity in Europe. The yearly OnePlus release always creates a stir, and the authorized Xiaomi shop in Paris sees a continuous stream of customers.

The Huawei P20 series, OnePlus 6, Xiaomi Pocophone F1, and Honor (also a brand of Huawei) Play series were listed as the most anticipated new mobile phones on the list of best mobile phones in 2018 by L’Express, a weekly French newspaper.

The Huawei Mate 10 series, Xiaomi Mix series, Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 and OPPO Find X are also highly recommended on many mobile phone websites in France. A stark contrast to 2010, when Chinese mobile phones had an almost zero percent market share in France, Chinese smartphones are now on display in many Parisian shopping malls, some even included in the “high performance” mobile phone recommendation list.

High performance and low cost, with innovative features and a fashionable appearance are the main secrets to success for these Chinese smartphone brands.

Chinese mobile phones are innovative, at a low price, while their quality is not inferior to other international brands, expressed a French man. He told People’s Daily, “It doesn’t matter what brand it is, good quality and suitable price are what matter,” adding that many of his friends are now using Chinese brands.

A member of staff in Xiaomi’s authorized store in Paris said that business has been “very very good” since they opened in May, “with high performance and low price, plus their fashionable appearance, Xiaomi is a good choice for young people who live on a lower income.”

“Excellent quality and reasonable price are the main attractions of Xiaomi mobile phones,” said a manager of the authorized Xiaomi store in Paris, noting that Chinese brands always react quickly to market demand. For example, when consumers demanded more from the camera feature, Chinese phone makers raced to excel in this area.

During the first half of this year, Huawei, Xiaomi, and OPPO, which are described as “The Three Musketeers” of the smartphone industry by French media, have launched new products in Paris one after another. Many fans have come to Paris from other countries to be the first to experience the new features and technologies.

Many media outlets praised the world's first three-camera design of Huawei P20, while the large full-screen and hidden 3D camera of OPPO Find X were met with rave reviews.

With significant investment in technological research and development, Chinese mobile phones are marching towards medium and high-end models while maintaining reasonable prices, to become a firm favorite in the European market.

According to French newspaper L’Ouest-France, Huawei has established an R&D center and design center in France, injecting 10 percent of its business income into R&D every year, which is higher than the industry average. Chinese phone makers attach great importance to R&D and innovation, which has put considerable pressure on brands like Samsung and Apple, said the newspaper.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Hongyu, Bianji)

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