Share of Chinese smartphone brands reaches record high in Russia

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Chinese smartphone brands’ market share in Russia has reached a new high of over 40% in September, according to a recent report released by M.Video-Eldorado (in Chinese), Russia’s largest consumer electronics retailer by revenue.

Chinese brands have been exerting their influence in the global smartphone market as the domestic market becomes increasingly saturated. Russia has emerged as one of the new frontiers for Chinese brands. Previous data from M.Video-Eldorado showed that Russian smartphone market grew by 22% in monetary terms in the first three quarters of 2018 with its market size reaching $4.7 billion.

In 2017, Chinese smartphone makers already managed to secure three of the top spots in shipments to Russia. From June to September of this year, every third smartphone purchased in Russia was a Huawei or Honor (a smartphone brand under Huawei) device. The two brands have shared the top spot in retail sales in Russia, overtaking Apple and Samsung. Xiaomi, another Chinese smartphone maker, took the fourth spot. In June, reports showed that Huawei smartphones took up 26.5 % of market share in Russia, surpassing former lead Samsung’s 23.2%.

Chinese smartphone brands have gained a foothold in lucrative markets like Russia and India largely through aggressive pricing strategy—offering cheaper phones than other global competitors.

Even so, China-made phones have been facing pushback in some markets, most notably from the US.

After Huawei’s partnership with US telecom carrier AT&T fell through in January, consumer electronics retailer Best Buy announced plans to stop selling Huawei phones.

Huawei says roadblocks to US market are being constructed by its rivals

In August, President Trump signed a bill banning government agencies and its contractors from using Huawei and Chinese telecom giant ZTE’s technology amid concerns over Chinese vendors posing a security threat to the country. Austrailia has also banned Huawei from supplying equipment for the new 5G networks due to security fears.