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Chinese smartphone vendors dominate emerging Southeast Asia market

Huawei, OPPO and vivo accounted for 21% of the total market share in those regions in 2016, though Samsung still leads the pack with 23%.

Published onFebruary 24, 2017

Chinese manufacturers Oppo, Vivo and Huawei are giving Samsung a run for its money in the emerging South East Asia market. According to a recent report from the International Data Corporation (IDC), the manufacturers accounted for 21% of the total market share in SEA in 2016, though Samsung still leads the pack with 23% alone.

The IDC produces regular reports on smartphone vendor market share, and for its emerging SEA tally, it includes data from Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam (Singapore is grouped as a mature market).

Common among the three Chinese manufacturers currently succeeding in these territories is a focus on the photography chops of their major devices. The OPPO F1, vivo V5 and HUAWEI P9 all boast impressive camera capabilities.

The IDC also notes that manufacturers’ regional marketing is a key factor in their recent successes. Oppo’s campaigns feature local celebrities as brand ambassadors, cultivating the idea of the brand as “trendy”, and predominately target millennials. vivo (who didn’t make the top five manufacturers list) also started using local celebrities in campaigns towards the end of 2016.

Huawei, meanwhile, usually taps international celebrity ambassadors but focuses more on device features rather than relying on celebrity names themselves. The company showed a 13% year-on-year growth in the region, which should help it towards its aims of overtaking Apple in global smartphone sales in the next two years.

Samsung had similar year-on-year growth with 13.1% but it’s OPPO’s 137.5% increase that could have the South Korean giant worried.

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