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Chinese Smartphones Thrive in India Despite Tensions

By Ding Yi / Jul 21, 2020 01:03 PM / World

Photo: IC

Photo: IC

China’s top four smartphone brands in India extended their market dominance in the second quarter by increasing their share to 75.1% from 66.1% a year earlier, according to research firm Canalys.

Despite a significant drop in shipments, China’s Xiaomi was still the market’s top dog in the second quarter of 2020. For the three months through June, it controlled 30.9% of India’s smartphone market with 5.3 million shipments, representing a year-on-year decrease of 48%, according to Canalys.

The other smartphone sellers in the top five — Vivo, Samsung, Oppo and Realme — also saw their shipments decline, with Samsung suffering the largest year-on-year shipment drop of 60%. That brought the South Korean company’s market share down to 16.8% from 22.1% a year earlier.

“Smartphone vendors faced a diabolical situation (in the second quarter), dealing with both low supply due to complete halt in production and diminished demand,” Canalys said.

Recent tensions between China and India, which saw New Delhi ban 59 Chinese apps, seem to have had little relative impact on Chinese smartphone brands’ popularity in the South Asian country, though most of the latest tensions occurred at the very end of the quarter.

Canalys analyst Adwait Mardikar attributed the Chinese vendors’ success to their strategy of driving a “Made in India” message to consumers and positioning their brands as “India-first." Mardikar also credited the Chinese brands’ low prices that gave them an edge over Samsung, Nokia and Apple.

Contact reporter Ding Yi (

Related: Chinese Smartphone Brand Outstrips Samsung’s Q1 Sales to India

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