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Chinese Smartphone Makers in the Spotlight at Mobile World Congress
   2016-02-23 19:39:37    CRIENGLISH.com      Web Editor: Mao Yaqing

Visitors walk in front of the ZTE stand at the Mobile World Congress 2016 in Barcelona, Spain, Feb. 22, 2016. [Photo: Xinhua]

Chinese smartphone makers have been continually gaining ground in the global market as of late.

CRI's Victor Ning reports that this trend is on full display at the ongoing Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.


Huawei, TCL Alcatel, Xiaomi and Lenovo are among the Chinese smartphone brands exhibiting this week at the Mobile World Congress.

Making their global ambitions known, these companies are vying to steal the spotlight at the show with new product launches.

Mid-range specifications and lower prices seem to be the main strategies that these Chinese firms are employing.

Shenzhen-based ZTE came with the ZTE Blade V7. The smartphone has a 5.2-inch, full HD screen with 2GB of RAM. It also has a 13 megapixel back camera and a 5 megapixel front camera.

It is expected to go on sale for about 275 US dollars in markets like Spain, South Africa, Ethiopia and Mexico by this summer.

ZTE's CEO Adam Zeng says the company has global ambitions.

"In the future, our strategy is to leverage our success in China and the US, and the European markets, to expand into additional strategic countries around the globe. We hope that in the next three to five years, ZTE can be a top third smartphone vendor in select markets."

According to market tracking firm Strategy Analytics, ZTE currently claims 2.7% of the global smartphone market. That figure beats some well-known brands like Sony, but is still lower than those of other Chinese companies like Huawei, Xiaomi and Lenovo.

Best known for its computers, Lenovo brought to the show its latest Vibe K5 Plus phone. Main features include a 5-inch display and a Snapdragon 616 Octacore processor. Most importantly, it will only sell for 149 dollars in emerging markets.

Lenovo currently ranks fifth in the global market share race, with strong sales in Asia and especially in India.

Neil Mawston is a smartphone market analyst at Strategy Analytics. He says an ever changing market place has provided opportunities for companies from developing nations like China.

"The market historically for the last 30 years, in mobile, has always changed. Companies like Siemens from Germany used to make phones, now they don't. So the market always changes. I think how it is changing at the moment is that we are seeing a swing from developed markets to developing markets. So, more Chinese brands. More Indian brands. And I think potentially also more African brands in the future as well."

Some more established brands are feeling the Chinese competition. Sony purchased the mobile division of Ericsson mobile in 2012 and is aiming to make a splash in the smartphone sector.

Sony brought to Barcelona the Sony Xperia X, which has similar mid-range features to the Chinese phones.

While Sony has not announced a price, Editor Nicole Scott from tech website MobileGeeks says the company faces some formidable Chinese rivals.

"So we are seeing the impact of the Chinese manufacturers here at Mobile World Congress. Everybody is launching a mid-range phone, because it is all about pricing. And we are definitely seeing that at the Sony launch, with the launch of the Xperia X which is a mid-range phone. But Sony is doing it with their own style, it looks good, everything feels high-end, but the specifications are quite budget. And that is definitely in competition to what we see from the Chinese manufacturers."

The Mobile World Congress runs until Thursday.

For CRI, I'm Victor Ning.

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