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Woes deepen for China's smaller smartphone makers

Gionee and LeEco are among those struggling as demand slows

TAIPEI The recent struggles of Gionee Communication Equipment and LeEco are raising doubts about whether second-tier Chinese smartphone makers can survive slowing domestic demand for handsets.

According to local media reports, a Chinese court has frozen Gionee Chairman and CEO Liu Lirong's 41.4% stake in the smartphone maker for a period of two years. The company is reportedly having trouble paying its suppliers.

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