Decline of Chinese Smartphone Brands in Overseas Markets
It seems that the Chinese smartphone brands are increasingly distant from the overseas market, resulting in a decline in shipments compared to previous years. In 2023, only Xiaomi managed to achieve over 100 million shipments in overseas markets, while other domestic brands heavily reliant on the domestic market struggled to establish a presence abroad.
According to analysts, Xiaomi’s global shipments in 2023 were approximately 146 million units, with around 40 million units sold in the Chinese domestic market and over 100 million units shipped overseas. Following Xiaomi, Transsion ranked second with nearly all of its shipments outside China, amounting to 94.9 million units, slightly lagging behind the 100 million mark.
It’s worth noting that both Xiaomi and Transsion primarily rely on overseas shipments to secure a position in the global top five smartphone brands. In contrast, domestic brands focused on the Chinese market failed to break into the global top five, highlighting the declining influence of the Chinese market on the global smartphone industry.
The smartphone shipments in the Chinese market have been declining year by year. In 2016, the market reached its peak with 470 million units sold, representing a 34% share of the global market. However, by 2023, the shipments in the Chinese market had decreased to around 270 million units, accounting for approximately 23% of the global market share.
The performances of Xiaomi and Transsion serve as valuable references for the Chinese smartphone industry. With the changing dynamics of the global market, establishing a foothold in the global market requires a strong presence in overseas markets, as reliance solely on the domestic market makes it increasingly challenging to succeed in the global smartphone market.
In fact, it’s not just domestic smartphone brands facing challenges. Even the renowned foreign brand Samsung holds only a 1% market share in China, yet it has continued to dominate the global smartphone market for 12 consecutive years. Apple secured the top spot in the global smartphone market in 2023, with approximately three-quarters of its sales occurring outside of China.
However, venturing into overseas markets is not an easy task for Chinese smartphone brands. India has been the most successful overseas market for Chinese smartphone brands, but in recent years, due to various reasons, India has taken actions against Chinese smartphones, resulting in a decline in shipments. Samsung has already surpassed Chinese smartphones to claim the top spot in the Indian market.
Europe is another market where Chinese smartphones are striving to break through. Nokia has repeatedly taken legal actions against two Chinese smartphone brands in Europe for patent infringement, leading these brands to cease sales in Germany. This abrupt halt has hindered the rapid growth of these Chinese smartphone brands in the European market.
The American market has only limited opportunities for Chinese smartphone brands. Consequently, Chinese brands mainly focus on emerging markets in the Middle East, Africa, Southeast Asia, and South America. However, setbacks in the European and Indian markets have resulted in a decline in shipments for Chinese smartphone brands overseas, considering that these two regions represent the largest overseas markets.
The development of domestic smartphone brands has entered a new phase. Some domestic brands have exerted significant pressure on Apple in the Chinese market through active innovation, leading to a downward trend in Apple’s shipments in China. Nevertheless, as the Chinese market is no longer what it used to be, the substantial growth of Chinese smartphone brands ultimately hinges on their expansion into overseas markets.