Samsung may be the largest smartphone manufacturer in the world ahead of companies like Apple, Sony, LG and other large multinationals, but the company’s offerings are steadily losing popularity in the world’s largest smartphone market – China. While the South Korean tech giant continues to retain its top spot globally, China has been proving a particularly difficult market to address because of extreme competition. Samsung has not been amongst the biggest smartphone brands in the country for years now, but latest reports now seem to indicate that the company has, in fact, lost further ground to local brands in the country. According to a report published by Samsung on Sunday, the company has now slipped to the fifth spot on the list of the largest smartphone vendors in China.
The report, termed the ‘Sustainability Report 2016’, details information regarding the company’s CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) activities as regards various economic, environmental and social causes. It reveals that the company’s sales in China have now declined for the third successive year, resulting in a significant loss of market share over the period. Not only has Samsung lost market share in the country, but its overall revenues, too, have declined from 33 trillion won ($28.7 billion) in 2014 to 31 trillion ($27 billion) last year. While that in itself is disconcerting enough, it looks even worse when looked at in the context of the company’s sales in 2013, when it earned as much as 40.1 trillion ($34.9 billion) won in revenues in the country. China accounted for around 15% of the company’s overall business last year, as opposed to 16% in 2014 and 18% in 2013.
Samsung may be doing comparatively better at the premium-end of the market, with the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge reported to have received over ten million pre-orders back in March. However, the company is also looking to earn back some of its lost market share in the mid and entry-level segments, having recently introduced the all-new Galaxy C-series of smartphones aimed specifically at the Chinese market. While it’s too early to judge whether those efforts have been successful of not, it is quite clear that the company has its job cut out if it truly wants to get back to anywhere near the top in the world’s largest smartphone market, where companies like Huawei, Xiaomi and now Oppo and Vivo are the brands to watch out for.