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Chinese phone industry records sales drop in off-peak February

By Zhang Jie | | Updated: 2019-03-13 11:03
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An online celebrity reacts for her followers via a livestreaming app in Wuhan, capital of Hubei province. [Photo by Miao Jian/For China Daily]

China shipped 14.51 million mobile phones in February, representing a 19.9 percent decline compared with the same period last year, according to data published Tuesday by the China Academy of Information and Communications Technology.

Last month 4G phone shipments fell 20.2 percent year-on-year to 13.98 million, accounting for 96.4 percent of all mobile phone shipments in the country.

Smartphone shipments meanwhile fell 20.1 percent to 13.99 million, 90.9 percent of which were Android.

Chinese mobile phones, at 13.11 million units, accounted for 90.3 percent of February's total shipments, down 14.7 percent year-on-year.

February is an off-peak month for the phone industry, according to Chinese news outlet Jiemian, which said that in February 2017 and 2018, 29.56 million and 18.12 million units, respectively, were shipped – the lowest monthly figures both years.

Potential buyers this February are perhaps waiting for mobile phones with new technologies such as 5G and foldable screens, contributing to the sales drop, Jiemian said.

In 2019 5G smartphones are expected to reach 5 million units in sales, said Jiemian, quoting tech research firm TrendForce.

Domestic phone brands have enacted a series of measures, including increasing tech investment, establishing subsidiaries, developing new products and expanding to new overseas markets to cope with the shrinking market.

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