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LG quits world’s largest smartphone market, blames Chinese brands

In Business, Phones by Ramon LopezLeave a Comment

LG is officially throwing in the towel on the world’s largest smartphone market amid consecutive financial losses over the previous quarters, the latest report from China confirmed.

A representative at its Beijing office was quoted saying, “LG mobile-phone business has quit China.” Which isn’t surprising considering what the Korean manufacturer has had to put up with in recent times.

With the exception of a profitable quarter in 2017, it is said that LG’s mobile division in China has been incurring losses for 11 quarters now, citing increased competition from local brands like Huawei, OPPO, and Xiaomi as the main reason for LG’s failings. A separate report from IDC noted that Xiaomi’s global market share rose by almost 97 percent in the previous quarter.

With the exception of a profitable quarter in 2017, it is said that LG China’s mobile division has been incurring losses for 11 quarters now, citing increased competition from local brands like Huawei, OPPO, and Xiaomi as the main reason for LG’s failings.

Chinese OEMs appear to be too tough to beat in their home country and many other Asian markets where price is a bigger selling point than brand reputation and authority. In China, LG was estimated to have sold just 160,000 smartphones for all of 2016 — a drop in the bucket for a market that saw 480 million units shipped the same year.

LG was estimated to have sold just 160,000 smartphones for all of 2016 — a drop in the bucket for a market that saw 480 million units shipped the same year.

Both the LG G6 and the LG V30, the company’s current flagships, have yet to make their way into China. The last phone it officially released in the country was the LG G5 SE, which was launched May 2016. Ouch. And here we thought LG was being uncharacteristically harsh for taking too long to release the V30 in the Philippines (to be clear, the locals got the LG V30+ instead).

As if by design, the news of LG pulling the plug on the biggest smartphone market comes after its full 2017 financial results were made public. According to the press release, the company’s mobile division posted an operating loss of $192 million for the fourth quarter, noting the “strong competition from Chinese brands.”

Via Phone Radar

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Ramon Lopez

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Reviews editor: Ramon "Monch" Lopez has 10 years of professional experience creating and editing content for print and digital publications such as Yahoo. He headed the gadgets-merchandising division of one of the Philippines’ largest retail operators somewhere in between. His latest addiction is the comments section of viral Facebook posts.