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Huawei’s impressive growth continues in China, with patriotism likely playing a part in its smartphone sales’ domestic surge.

New figures from Canalys suggest Huawei grew its smartphone sales in China by 66% year-on-year (YoY) for Q3 2019, compared to the 31% growth it reportedly enjoyed in the previous quarter.

Digging down into the numbers also shows the stark contrast between Huawei’s fortunes and those of its main rivals, including Vivo, Oppo, Xiaomi, and Apple, each of which experienced a sharp decrease in sales.

Above: Chinese smartphone shipments growth for Q3 2019

Image Credit: Canalys

Overall smartphone shipments remained just shy of 98 million for Q3, but Apple’s YoY decline accelerated from -14% in Q2 to -28% for Q3, while Xiaomi’s negative growth went from -20% to -33%.

By contrast, Huawei seems to be vacuuming up its competitors’ market share, growing from 24.9% to 42.4% over the past year. This also represents a rise of more than 4 percentage points on Q2 2019.

YoY market share and

Above: YoY market share and shipments for smartphones in China

Image Credit: Canalys

“Huawei opened a huge gap between itself and other vendors,” noted Canalys VP of mobility Nicole Peng. “It has 25% more share than this quarter’s runner-up, Vivo. Its dominant position gives Huawei a lot of power to negotiate with the supply chain and to increase its wallet share within channel partners.”

While it may not be possible to pinpoint all the reasons Huawei is enjoying an uptick in a market that is more broadly in decline, the U.S. decision to place Huawei on a trade blacklist has almost certainly played a part. Many of Huawei’s retail partners in China have launched ad campaigns touting Huawei as “the patriotic choice,” according to Canalys’ Q2 report.

“The U.S.-China trade war is also creating new opportunities,” Canalys analyst Mo Jia said at the time. “Huawei’s retail partners are rolling out advertisements to link Huawei with being the patriotic choice, to appeal to a growing demographic of Chinese consumers willing to take political factors into account when making a purchase decision.”

Globally, Huawei recently reported that it had passed 200 million smartphones shipped in 2019, two months earlier than it did last year. However, the full impact of the U.S. trade ban — which prevents Google from offering its version of Android and all of its apps — has yet to kick in. The trade ban only impacts new Huawei devices, and while the company did announce its new high-end Mate 30 series smartphone lineup last month, the devices have yet to go on sale outside of China.


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