Biz / Tech

Festival boost for China's smartphone brands

Zhu Shenshen
Industry players spending billions on discounts as companies seek to stimulate sales in the domestic market amid fierce competition and slowing growth.
Zhu Shenshen

Chinese smartphone brands are spending several billion yuan on marketing and subsidiaries this month with an online shopping festival tapping the domestic market amid fierce competition and slowing growth, industry officials said.

In the first quarter, China's smartphone market grew 5 percent. Huawei is gradually stepping out of the middle and entry-level market while firms such as Xiaomi, Oppo, Vivo and Realme aim to expand in the sector segment, according to researchers IDC and Counterpoint Research.

The market is seeing "aggressive play" moves among all industry players at present, said Xu Qi, Realme's vice president.

Realme, which used to focus on overseas markets, will be offering discounts worth a total of 700 million yuan (US$111 million) hoping to sell around a million 5G smartphones in China during the 618 (June 18) online shopping festival,.

In the first week of June, its sales jumped 35 times year on year, putting it among the top three brands for sales on platforms such as JD, Tmall and Suning. It has taken some sales titles in market categories priced between 1,000 yuan and 2,000 yuan, the company said.

Xiaomi Corp will be offering discounts and coupons valued at 1 billion yuan during the festival and will also be releasing 20 new products.

It said the festival will be the "largest marketing event" in its history in terms of discounts and coupons.

Oppo and Vivo have launched nationwide contests for photography and vlogs, which are expected to boost sales of their latest models.

In the first quarter, Realme and Xiaomi were the brands with the highest growth rate in the Chinese smartphone market  while Huawei and Honor both lost market share, according to Counterpoint Research.

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