Huawei’s competitors want to take advantage of its problems

Huawei’s Chinese rivals, including Xiaomi, Oppo and Vivo, are taking drastic steps to seize market share from their giant rival, after tightening US sanctions that have hampered the company’s supply chains.

Huawei earlier this month sold its sub-brand Honor, in an attempt to protect the Honor supply chain from US measures, which made it difficult to obtain basic components.

Huawei’s Chinese rivals are looking to take advantage of its woes to gain a bigger share in the mid-range and flagship phone market.

Chinese companies are raising their forecasts for the next year, said Derek Wang, executive director in charge of production at mobile phone maker Realme, which shares the supply chain with Oppo.

He added: Xiaomi, Oppo and Vivo believe that the sanctions imposed on Huawei are causing harm to it in the international market, and Chinese competitors want to gain market share from Huawei.

Wang indicated that Realme – which was founded in 2018 – is on its way to doubling its smartphone shipments to 50 million this year.

He said: Realme has built its base through low-price offers in Southeast Asia and India, and looks forward to targeting Europe and China next year with flagship phones, regardless of Huawei’s status.

In August, the US Commerce Department suspended Huawei’s access to US technology necessary for its mobile phone business, on the grounds that it posed a security threat, a charge the Chinese company denies.

Huawei briefly outperformed Samsung as the world’s largest smartphone maker in the first half of this year, before shipments dropped 23 percent to 51.7 million units in the third quarter.

Huawei still accounts for 41.2 percent of the market in the third quarter, followed by Vivo with 18.4 percent, Oppo by 16.8 percent, and Xiaomi by 12.6 percent.

Industry watchers confirmed an increase in orders from vendors, as Xiaomi placed enough orders for up to 100 million phones between the fourth quarter of 2020 and the first quarter of 2021, a 50 percent increase from expectations before the August restrictions.

The data showed that production expectations for OPPO and Vivo have also increased by about 8 percent each since August, with orders of 90 million and 70 million phones respectively.

Conversely, Huawei’s orders fell 55 percent to 42 million devices at that time.

Chinese smartphone shipments for the third quarter of 2020
Chinese smartphone shipments for the third quarter of 2020

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