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China’s consumer market that once offered vast opportunities for South Korean exporters has become less penetrable as Chinese firms make goods that compete with imports, industry data showed on July 14th.
Samsung Electronics, which in 2012 ousted Apple Inc. to hold the top market share for smartphones in China, fell to eighth place in the first quarter of this year. Samsung’s market share in handsets hit 17.7 percent in 2012. It dropped to 4.9 percent in 2016. In the first quarter this year, its market share was a marginal 3.1 percent.
China’s own brand Huawei raised its market portion from 9.9 percent to 18.9 percent over the past five years. Another local firm OPPO, who had no presence in 2012, soared to grab 18.7 percent during the period. Together with Vivo, the three are dominating the Chinese smartphone market.
Industry officials say that data indicates THAAD may not be the only cause of falling South Korean exports to China as firms there are quickly catching up in technology and no longer relying on foreign products.
South Korea’s auto exporters have also been nudged out by Chinese companies, data showed. Hyundai Motor and its sister firm Kia Motors reported their market share in China had been cut in half compared with five years ago.
The carmakers said their numbers fell from 8.6 percent to 3.8 percent. They were routed by Chinese local labels, which claimed 46.1 percent of the market, followed by European (21.4 percent) and Japanese (17.6 percent) automakers.