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Chinese phone brands dial up efforts to go global

  • Author:Joey
  • Source:chinatopwin
  • Release on:2017-03-24
Chinese phone brands dial up efforts to go global
China’s smartphone makers were out in force at the Mobile World Congress in the Spanish 
city of Barcelona last week, demonstrating that they are not just fast adopters, but innovators 
as well. They hope that cutting-edge technology will take them global.
In the 1970s, electronics from companies in rapidly industrializing Japan flooded Western
 markets. Goods from Sony, Sanyo, Sharp and others first imitated and undercut, then 
improved upon and outmuscled products from domestic manufacturers like RCA and GE. 
In the 2000s, gadgets from South Korean makers like Samsung, Hyundai and LG repeated 
the exercise on their Japanese forerunners: undercut on price, outpace with innovation, profit.
For years, Chinese phone makers served in the shadows as manufacturers for Nokia and 
others. Everything changed after Google introduced Android in 2008.
The inexpensive and customizable mobile operating system, an answer to Apple’s 
status-quo–shattering iPhone, made it possible for any electronics company with some 
savvy to develop a worthy alternative.
In no time, Chinese companies shifted their strategies from churning out white-label devices 
for others to building brands for themselves.
Chinese phone makers are now facing a new era in the smartphone market, a Chinese era, 
studded with a new generation of wily entrepreneurs and clever engineers armed with lessons 
learned from those that came before. 
Yes, some copy Western ideas, sometimes even down to trendy minimalist outfits as nearly 
everyone in the phone industry wears black onstage in emulation of Steve Jobs. But many are 
genuinely innovating as they race to become the next Nokia of the 1990s: affordable, high tech,
Gradually they have won over Chinese consumers. Local names displaced iPhones and Samsung 
Galaxy devices by market share in 2016, according to International Data Corporation (IDC).
 They have done so by going steadily up-scale, employing vast retail networks, and speeding 
up packing the bells and whistles. 

Seven of the top 10 Chinese patent-appliers in 2016 make smartphones, according to the 
State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO). Of those, OPPO, Huawei and Xiaomi filed close to 
12,000 applications or a third of the total, the SIPO data showed.
“In terms of technology and innovation, Chinese players are very close to industry leaders like 
Samsung,” said Kitty Fok, a research director at IDC China. “China’s gigantic mobile Internet 
market helped to boost online services, which require hardware with better performance. Many 
local players caught the opportunity to shake off the copycat label.”
For instance, the current Chinese market leader, OPPO, made features like rapid charging,
 low-light photography and 6GB memory standard (the iPhone still lacks quick charging). OPPO is 
now focusing its energies on the camera, targeting selfie-obsessive youngsters, as well as amateur
In Barcelona, OPPO unveiled what it calls its most advanced mobile photography technology yet. 
Its “go five times further” tagline at the Mobile World Congress referred to an optical zoom 
technique that combines telephoto and wide-angle lenses and a specially designed prism with 
software to achieve a 5x zoom effect.