Chinese smartphone brands are gaining momentum in their Russia expansion efforts, according to a research report from Counterpoint.

As forerunners in this initiative, Xiaomi, which made its official debut in April this year after six months of operation through a distributor, is now the  fifth largest smartphone brand in Russia during Q3 this year, grew by 325% YoY. “Xiaomi was the fastest growing smartphone brand in Russia in both online as well as offline sales,” said Tarun Pathak, Associate Director at Counterpoint Research, in a statement. The firm is also expanding its offline retail expansion efforts in the country by setting up its first 24/7 outlet in Moscow.

Russia smartphone

Image credit: Counterpoint

Huawei and lesser-known Chinese brand Bright & Quick eclipsed Xiaomi with 11% and 5% market share, respectively. However, they are growing at a less, but not insignificant, YOY growth rate of 140% and 177%. Samsung and Apple took the top two spots.

Counterpoint’s Market Monitor service indicates sustained growth in Russian smartphone industry, which grew by 7% annually and 38% sequentially during Q3 2017.Commenting on the analysis, Minakshi Sharma, Research Associate said:

 “The Russian handset market grew during this quarter driven by aggressive marketing campaigns by new Chinese brands and subsequent price cuts from all the leading retail chains as consumer spending during third quarter of the year normally remains high due to the new academic year and a ‘back-to-school’ uptick.”

The saturating domestic arena has forced Chinese smartphone makers to seek new opportunities globally. Cheering milestones in tapping Southeast Asia countries have been recorded. Over 50% of India’s smartphone market is currently controlled by Chinese brands, including Xiaomi, Oppo, Vivo, Shenzhen-based Gionee, and Lenovo.

In addition to strengthening foothold in the existing markets, companies like Xiaomi are eyeing other regional markets from Europe to Africa and Latin America.