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Electronics

China smartphone shipments fall 14% as sanctions sting Huawei

Decline in third quarter attributed to US penalties impeding production

A man walks past a Huawei store at a shopping mall in Beijing.   © Reuters

GUANGZHOU -- Smartphone shipments in China slipped 14.3% in the third quarter from a year earlier, in the fallout from the U.S. trade sanctions that dented sales at Huawei Technologies.

Chinese companies shipped 84.8 million smartphones during the three months through September, market intelligence company IDC said in a report Friday. Huawei shipped the most at 35.1 million units.

But Huawei's shipments shrank 15.5%, and its market share slipped to 41.4% during the third quarter from 45.2% in the second quarter. Due to the U.S. restrictions, Huawei faced difficulty procuring semiconductors for smartphones.

"Huawei carefully managed its shipments across its product lineups and lowered the production of some popular models," IDC said in a release.

Runner-up Vivo saw shipments drop 16.9% in the third quarter, and third place Oppo suffered a 14.2% attrition. No. 5 Apple was off by 13.1% due to the delay of its 5G-compatible iPhone 12.

The fourth-leading rival Xiaomi boosted shipments 13.4% on the year to 11 million units. The company's Redmi 9 handset, which was released in June, has enjoyed strong demand. Xiaomi has grown sales online, potentially stealing customers away from Huawei.

Chinese smartphone shipments have underperformed year-earlier numbers since at least the second quarter of last year, according to IDC data. The U.S. market tracker has not released results for the first quarter of 2019.

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