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China’s Smartphone Shipments Nosedive More Than 50% in February

By Ding Yi / Mar 10, 2020 03:08 PM / Economy

Photo: VCG

Photo: VCG

China’s smartphone vendors suffered bigger losses in February than January as the Covid-19 outbreak kept many handset manufacturing plants from resuming normal operations and consumers continued to stay home to avoid infection.

In the second month of 2020, China smartphone shipments totaled 6.34 million, down 54.7% year-on-year, according to the China Academy of Information and Communications Technology (CAICT), a think-tank affiliated to the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT). The February figure marks an even more dramatic decline from January when smartphone shipments totaled 20.4 million unites.

In February, shipments of Android-powered smartphones, including those made by Huawei and Xiaomi, accounted for 92.2% of total shipments, the CAICT said, meaning that Apple sold less than 500,000 iPhones in China that month, down from 1.27 million units in the same month of 2019.

Apple has been reopening its retail stores in China and its major manufacturing partner Foxconn has been gradually resuming production at its key complex in the central Chinese city of Zhengzhou since late February in an attempt to recover from the coronavirus-linked sales hit. Foxconn said last week that it expects to return to normal production by the end of March.

Previously, market research firm IDC predicted that China is likely to see its smartphone shipments plummet by nearly 40% in the first quarter of 2020 due to the impact of the coronavirus, which has led to factory shutdowns, supply chain disruptions and logistics restrictions. In addition, many consumers are staying home to avoid infection, which is also driving down sales.

Contact reporter Ding Yi (yiding@caixin.com)

Related: IDC Forecasts First-Quarter Plunge in China Smartphone Shipments


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