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Realme Bets Big On China 5G Push in Hope of Repeating India Success

By Ding Yi / Dec 03, 2019 03:20 PM / Business & Tech

Photo: VCG

Photo: VCG

Chinese budget smartphone-maker Realme will up the ante in its 5G push next year in a move that could please Chinese authorities eager for the country to become the world leader in the new technology.

Realme will only release 5G smartphones in the Chinese market from 2020, the company’s founder and CEO Li Bingzhong announced Monday on the microblogging site Weibo. The announcement came a week after the company officially teased its first 5G smartphone named the X50 that will hit the Chinese market in the next few months.

“Starting 2020, we will completely march into China’s 5G market, and will no longer release 4G mobile phones (in the country),” Li said. He also added that his company will become one of the first handset manufacturers to roll out dual-mode 5G smartphones on all price ranges. Dual-mode smartphones can use the different types of 5G networks that will replace 4G.

In a move that is likely to please Chinese authorities eager for China to become the market leader in 5G technology, Li said Realme will also take part in the construction of global 5G networks and bring all-new 5G experiences to its global customers.

Realme, which is a sub-brand of Oppo, first launched in India a year ago. It made its first phone available to Chinese customers in May with the launch of Realme X.

Realme is obviously hoping to repeat its success in India in the Chinese market. In less than two years it has gained a strong presence in India, as reflected in an IDC report showing that the company’s shipments to India skyrocketed 401% year-on-year to 6.7 million units in the third quarter of this year, making it the fourth-largest smartphone brand in the South Asian country. The combined market share held by Realme and its parent Oppo during the period accounted for 26.1% of the Indian market, closing in on Xiaomi’s market share of 27.1%.

Contact reporter Ding Yi (yiding@caixin.com)

Related: Xiaomi Maintains Lead in India Handset Market, but Chinese Rivals Pose Growing Threat

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