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Domestic manufacturers figure stronger at home, eye export sales
( 2003-12-19 02:11) (China Daily)

Chinese mobile phone makers will have a much bigger voice in overseas markets next year, as their competitiveness and technological capability improves, an official with the Ministry of Information Industry (MII) predicted.

"We will see increasing action from domestic manufacturers in the international arena next year,'' said Huang Jianzhong, an official with MII's Department of Economic System Reform and Operations.

According to MII statistics, the proportion of exports against domestic sales among Chinese mobile phone makers rose from 2 per cent to 6 per cent in the first 10 months.

The market regulator believes predictions that total exports of domestic handset manufacturers will top 2 million units this year.

Increasing competitiveness is a major factor for domestic vendors' success in overseas markets.

Huang said yesterday at the Information Technology Market 2004 forum that while the total global market share of Motorola, Nokia, Siemens and Ericsson shrank from 84 per cent in 1999 to 24 per cent for the first 11 months of this year, Chinese makers have been gaining a lot of ground.

Back at home, according to MII, domestic vendors acquired 55.47 per cent of the domestic mobile phone market for the first 11 months of the year and Ningbo-based Bird Technology and Shenzhen-based Konka topped all players, including Motorola and Nokia, with 14.2 per cent and 11.2 per cent of the local pie.

Chinese players are also trying to win out over the foreign competition with their own technologies and designs.

Among the roughly 80 new models produced by local firms this year, 80 per cent were Chinese designed.

Huang predicted that the fighting next year will be more intense.

"I don't think the multinationals will just sit there and see their products losing ground in China,'' he said.

At the same time, the competition between China Mobile and China Unicom, the only two mobile operators in the country, will also push up the sales of mobile phones and bundled sales will be turned to by most operators.

He predicted the total domestic sale of handsets will reach 160 million units next year, up from the 145 million up to the end of November this year, and 90 million to 100 million units will be exported to overseas markets, roughly the same volume as this year.

Sales of the electronics and information industry will total 1.8 trillion yuan (US$217 billion) this year, a 30 per cent year-on-year growth, the MII official believes.

The industry is expected to see 26 per cent growth to 2.3 trillion yuan (US$278 billion) next year.

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