Smelling blood, Huawei’s Chinese mobile rivals look to capitalise on its U.S. woes

Sooner or later all Chinese brands will be affected like Huawei

Sooner or later all Chinese brands will be affected like Huawei

Chinese handset rivals of Huawei Technologies including Xiaomi, Oppo and Vivo are making aggressive moves to seize market share from their giant rival, after stepped-up U.S. sanctions hobbled Huawei’s supply chains, industry insiders say.

Last week Huawei said it had sold its budget brand smartphone unit Honor for an undisclosed sum in a bid to safeguard the latter’s supply chain from U.S. action, which has made it difficult to source essential components.

All the same, Huawei’s Chinese rivals smell blood in the mid- to high-end phone market. In August a Huawei executive said the company will not be able to produce its flagship processors that power its high-end smartphones.

“What we can see now, whether from Xiaomi, Oppo or Vivo, is that they’re raising their forecasts for next year,” said Derek Wang, an executive in charge of production at handset maker Realme, which shares a supply chain with Oppo.

“They believe the sanctions against Huawei will more or less hurt it in the international market, and they may want to take a share of the market from Huawei.”

Founded in 2018, Realme is on course to double its smartphone shipments to 50 million this year, Wang said. It has built a base with low price-offerings in Southeast Asia and India, and is looking to target Europe and China next year with a push into the high-end market, regardless of Huawei’s situation, Wang said.

In August, the U.S. Commerce Department further choked Huawei’s access to U.S. technology essential to its handset business, on the grounds that Huawei poses a security threat – a charge Huawei denies.[L4N2FK1NT]

Huawei briefly overtook Samsung as the world’s biggest handset maker in the first half of this year, before shipments fell 23% to 51.7 million units in the third quarter, according to research firm Canalys.

Huawei still commanded 41.2% of the market in the third quarter, followed by Vivo with 18.4%, Oppo with 16.8% and Xiaomi with 12.6%, Canalys said. Apple has a lower share in China with 6.2%, but is attracting strong demand for its 5G iPhone 12, Canalys said.

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