The ecosystem that permitted the meteoric rise of Xiaomi’s valuation to over $45 billion no longer exists. A year-long contraction in the Chinese smartphone market has yielded a consolidated field of players struggling to find new inroads to a saturated market, and the latest casualty has fallen.

Dakele, or “big coke”, the Chinese smartphone maker that once aimed to emulate Xiaomi, has suspended R&D along with marketing and business operations, according to the company’s Ding Xiuhong, the former deputy editor-in-chief at online news service NetEase. The rumor of Dakele’s collapse reared its head late last year and the announcement on Mr. Ding’s microblog has finally confirmed it.

“The shuffling of the smartphone industry is much faster and tougher than we expected. We have survived competition in product [and] marketing, but the entry of more internet giants has brought the rivalry to operating capital,” said Mr. Ding.

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Emma Lee

Emma Lee is Shanghai-based tech writer, covering startups and tech happenings in China and Asia in general. We are looking for stories related to tech and China. Reach her at lixin@technode.com.