Mobile manufacturing giant Huawei regains the top spot

Photo: Reuters

Chinese tech giant Huawei has suffered losses since 2019 due to US sanctions. The company's growth was subdued due to its post-pandemic supply chain and lack of inflation. However, in early 2024, China's good phones improved and Huawei regained the top spot. News Nikkei Asia.


According to a recent report by market research firm Canalys, Huawei sold 1.17 million smartphones in China in the first quarter of 2024, which is 70 percent more than the same period last year.


Meanwhile, the US technology company Apple's sales in the Chinese market decreased by 25 percent to about 10 million units. In terms of sales, Apple has fallen to fifth place in the Chinese market. Apart from this, the sales of China's local Oppo and Vivo brands of smartphones also decreased by 14 and 9 percent respectively. However, Huawei's former budget brand Honor achieved 9 percent growth in the first quarter of this year.


According to the report, China is the largest smartphone market in the world, which is highly competitive. In the first quarter of this year, the sales volume of China's top six smartphone companies was very close. According to Canalys analyst Runer Bjorhovde, China's top smartphone makers differed in sales by only a few hundred thousand units in the first quarter. He expects to see significant changes in the coming quarters.


The Huawei Mate 60 Pro flagship device surprised tech analysts in August last year. Because it was the first 5G device based on Huawei's chip despite the US ban. The U.S. imposed the ban on Huawei originally, accusing it of ties to China's military. However, Huawei denies the allegations. This month Huawei unveiled the Pura Seven, their latest flagship lineup.


According to tech analysts, Huawei's return to the top spot in the Chinese market indicates a strong comeback in its smartphone business. In 2019, the US cut off access to US technology to China through export controls. The impact of this caused huge damage to Huawei's smartphone business. Not being able to use Google's Android, Huawei also had to develop its own HarmonyOS operating system.


Apple's declining sales in the Chinese market in the latest quarter could be a cause of concern for its business, technology experts said. Recently Apple's CEO visited China to open a flagship store in Shanghai. There, he highlighted the importance of the Chinese market to Apple after announcing the expansion of Apple's research and development center.


Canalys analyst Runer Bjorhovde said, "HarmonyOS's success will be the key to Huawei's smartphone performance in the future." Huawei needs to build enough install base to attract developers. There are now more than 80 million HarmoniOS installations worldwide. By making HarmonyOS globally competitive, Huawei will be able to continue to expand its smartphone business over time.


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