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China Smartphone Sales During 618 Fell 10% YoY Amid COVID-19, Slowdown

Beijing, Hong Kong, New Delhi, Seoul, London, San Diego, Buenos Aires – July 1, 2022

This year’s 618 e-commerce festival in China, which ran from May 31 to June 18, came amid gradual lifting of COVID-19 lockdowns in two of China’s largest cities. The e-commerce festival’s performance is an important indicator for predicting consumer sentiment in China. As was the case last year, TMALL chose not to reveal its 618 figures for 2022. The other e-commerce behemoth, JD, recorded a GMV of RMB 379.3 billion (~$56.6 billion), an increase of 10.3% compared to 2021. Nonetheless, this was the slowest growth ever for the 618 event.

Commenting on the smartphone segment’s performance during the 618 festival, Research Analyst Mengmeng Zhang said, “Discounts and promotions during the 618 period helped lift China’s smartphone market from its low in April and May. Smartphone sales during the first week of 618 (May 30-June 5) were up 32% compared to May 23-May 29. However, total smartphone sales during the 618 period were still down about 10% compared to last year, indicating that the overall consumer appetite for smartphones was hurt by the repeated COVID-19 waves and a slowing economy.”

Commenting on the key vendors’ performance, Associate Director Ethan Qi said, “HONOR surpassed vivo by a very slight margin to lead the market during this year’s 618 and was the only major OEM to register positive growth. Coming from a low base as well as a competitive portfolio covering a wide price band, HONOR posted an impressive growth of 148% during this period compared to last year. HONOR also utilized this e-commerce festival to successfully launch its latest HONOR 70 series, which immediately made it to the top 10 bestseller list.”

China Smartphone Sales 618 Shopping Festival 2021 vs. 2022

Note: OPPO includes OnePlus; Xiaomi includes Redmi; vivo includes iQOO

Source: Counterpoint Weekly Tracking Service

vivo and OPPO moved down one spot to the second and third spots respectively in terms of market share when compared to 2021. New offerings in the mid-tier segment, such as the Reno 8 and vivo S15, helped drive vivo and OPPO sales.

Xiaomi’s market share also declined this year, pulling the brand down to the fourth spot. As a traditional online brand, Xiaomi continues to invest heavily in e-commerce festivals and claimed to give out RMB 1 billion (~$0.15 billion) in subsidies for this year’s 618 event. Besides, Xiaomi’s online promotional activities are better aligned with its offline stores this year. Similar to vivo and OPPO, Xiaomi’s best sales contributor this year was a mid-end offering – Redmi K50. The Redmi K50 was one of the best value-for-money smartphones at the RMB 2,000 (~$300) price point, powered by the MediaTek 8100 chip, 2k display with 120Hz refresh rate and 5500 mAh battery capacity.

Apple ranked fifth while maintaining stable market share during this year’s 618. Despite a decline in sales from last year, Apple was the clear winner in the high-end segment during this year’s 618. Apple has nearly no competition in this segment after Huawei’s losses. The deep discounts offered by Apple also made the iPhone 13 series very attractive. Platforms gave out as much as RMB 1,000 off on select iPhone 13 models.

Pinduoduo is increasingly emerging as an important sales channel for smartphones. Continuing its RMB 10-billion (~$1.5-billion) joint subsidy campaign with brands and merchants, Pinduoduo saw its smartphone sales value increasing 148% YoY during the festive period.

Background

Counterpoint Technology Market Research is a global research firm specializing in products in the TMT (technology, media and telecom) industry. It services major technology and financial firms with a mix of monthly reports, customized projects and detailed analyses of the mobile and technology markets. Its key analysts are seasoned experts in the high-tech industry.

Analyst Contacts

Mengmeng Zhang

Ethan Qi

Ivan Lam
 

Tarun Pathak

Follow Counterpoint Research
press(at)counterpointresearch.com     

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