“That’s a Huawei phone?” a Chinese friend of mine asked me when I showed him a review unit of the Honor View 20. I had to show him the manufacturing stamp, which clear as day, said “Made in China, Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd,” to prove that it was indeed so. My friend then shrugged, and said, smiling, “We have so many different brands, and so many choices.” What he said is true. Smartphone growth in China has stalled in recent years and the players have established their positions — drastic changes like the rise and decline of Xiaomi appears unlikely. What has not changed however, is that the Chinese market is still stratified and diverse. Even on its worst days the Chinese market is dynamic and consumers love choice. They love choice to an extent that, I think, can baffle foreigners. Any brand worth its salt must be prepared to provide a list of minute details about its products, as well as the price plans and options, or face anonymity. My friend, a self-made successful businessman, without batting an eye, told me he would only ever buy Apple’s iPhone because he is, well, successful. All of his employees only have iPhones as well, he stressed. Read more: Huawei aiming to be biggest smartphone brand by 2020 But go to any shopping mall in downtown Shanghai and there are Huawei and Samsung booths aimed at the middle class. Beijing, the capital, is also a battleground. In the streets of Zhuhai, big… [Read full story]
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