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Huawei now sells more phones than Samsung

July 30, 2020

For the first time ever, China's electronics giant Huawei sold more smartphones than the South Korea's Samsung in the last quarter, according to an industry tracker. Still, Huawei faces trouble on the global market.

A person walks past a Huawei ad
Image: picture-alliance/dpa/AP/A. Wong

Huawei has grown to dominate China's smartphone market and is also the world's No. 1 smartphone seller, global analyst firm Canalys said on Thursday, based on the data for the second quarter of 2020.

The Chinese tech company shipped 55.8 million devices during April, May and June, overtaking Samsung, its closest rival. The South Korean firm sold 53.7 million units in the last quarter.

Read more: South Korean court rules Samsung heir can avoid jail, for now

While Huawei's sales dropped 5% compared with the same time last year, Samsung's device sales plunged some 30%. Huawei described its success in the face of a global pandemic as a signal of "exceptional resilience."

But company-wide, Samsung Electronics reported Thursday that its net profit grew 7.3% year-on-year in the second quarter. While smartphone sales were down, strong demand for memory chips helped the company.

People use a mobile phone in a Huawei retail shop in Shenzhen, China's Guangdong provinc
The vast majority of Huawei's sales are in ChinaImage: picture-alliance/AP Photo/Kin Cheung

Trouble brewing with US, India

Singapore-based Canalys reported that Huawei now sells over 70% of its smartphones in China. However, the industry tracker noted that the US sanctions had "stifled" Huawei on the global market and that overseas sales fell by nearly a third in the previous quarter.

The company's dominance in China "will not be enough to sustain Huawei at the top once the global economy starts to recover," said Canalys analyst Mo Jia.

In addition to the sanctions and Washington's pressure to exclude Huawei from building 5G networks for US allies, the Chinese company now needs to contend with the diplomatic flare-up between China and India following a deadly border clash in June. The escalation has already prompted the Indian government to ban the use of TikTok and WeChat.

"There is certainly an anti-China sentiment in the minds of Indian consumers," analyst Prachir Singh from the Hong Kong-based Counterpoint market observer company told the AFP news agency. "Samsung is surely benefiting from this."

dj/sms (AFP, Reuters)