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Can Oppo pause China's smartphone treadmill?

This year's upstart is vulnerable to changing trends

Oppo's handsets on display​ in a retail store

BEIJING -- After topping China's smartphone sales charts in 2016, Oppo Electronics is now on defense, at the mercy of the country's fast-moving trend cycle that crowns a new smartphone king every year or so.

Since 2013, the top-selling brand in the world's largest smartphone market has rarely managed to keep that title for long. South Korea's Samsung Electronics was quickly supplanted by China's Xaiomi, which fell to Apple of the U.S. before Huawei Technologies took the throne.

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