Equalocean has continuously paid attention to the performance of Chinese brands in the overseas market. China has a large number of mainstream brands that perform well in various fields in domestic and overseas markets. In previous articles, we have presented the performance of Chinese home appliance brands (The Initial Achievements of Chinese Home Appliance Brands on the Way of Globalization) and beauty brands (Industry Watch: Chinese Cosmetic Brands In Japan) on the way to globalization. This article will bring you the first look at the consumer electronics chapter of the 2022 China Globalization of Consumer Brands Report, recently released by EqualOcean.
Some Chinese smartphone brands, such as Xiaomi (Chinese: 小米) Vivo and OPPO, are still in the top 5 in the global market. This article will first introduce the overview of the smartphone market in the global consumer electronics category. After that, the export of Chinese smartphone brands will be analyzed in detail, especially in terms of overseas market distribution and website performance.
In recent years, Chinese brands have started to globalize their layout. In particular, Chinese consumer electronics brands enjoy a good reputation and brand power around the world. Consumer electronics, the electronic products used in their daily lives, are closely related to life, work and entertainment, achieving the goal of consumers’ free choice of information and entertainment. In terms of scope, consumer electronics mainly focuses on personal or family products.
The consumer electronics category mainly includes mobile phones, laptops, tablets, audio devices, wearables, drones and other electronic products. Mobile phones and laptops are the two categories dominating the current shipment, with mobile phones accounting for the highest proportion. In addition, the mobile phone also ranks first in China’s consumer electronics export volume. Therefore, this article will focus on the globalization of Chinese mobile phone brands.
Profile of the global mobile phone market
In 2021, the global consumer electronics market scale reaches USD 1,090 billion, up 7% year-on-year. Smartphones have a huge impact on the entire consumer electronics market, and the overall revenue has been steadily increasing. One of the determining factors is the property of intelligently connecting everything.
Taking the example of smart home devices, consumers can control them on their mobile phones, which makes it possible to have a smart and systematic home. In the future, new technology products such as virtual reality and augmented reality can also connect with smartphones to explore a connected ecology, generating better acceptance and new opportunities for the entire consumer electronics market. .
The mobile phone penetration rate in China is high, rising from 92.5 units per 100 people in 2015 to 116.6 units per 100 people in 2020. The Chinese mobile phone market is now saturated with a large number of national brands and growing competition. Huawei, Xiaomi, OPPO and VIVO dominated most of the market, while other smaller brands are gradually exiting the market.
The export of Chinese smartphone brands (compared to Samsung and Apple)
1) Market share and geographical distribution
According to Canalys and Statista, global smartphone shipments reached 1.35 billion units in 2021, up 7% year-on-year. Samsung (Chinese: 三星) remains at the top of the list, with a market share of 20.1%, up 6% year-on-year, while Apple (Chinese: 苹果) ranks second, with a market share of 17.4%, up 15.9%. year over year, and the ranking remains the same for the first half of 2022.
Chinese mobile phone brands accounted for around 30% of the global market in 2021. In particular, Xiaomi ranks third, with a market share of 14.1%, up 29.3% year-on-year. other, while OPPO and VIVO rank fourth and fifth respectively. with global market shares of 9.9% and 9.5%, up 20.1% and 14.8% year-on-year. Xiaomi has the largest increase in international shipments of 29.3% in 2021.
According to the distribution figure, it is clear that overseas Chinese consumer electronics mainly focuses on emerging markets such as Southeast Asia and South Asia. In Europe and America, the South Korean brand Samsung and the American brand Apple dominated the market. In addition, Samsung and Apple also account for a large share of emerging markets; thus, Chinese mobile phone brands still face a fiercely competitive environment.
According to data from Google Trends, the three Chinese brands have a minimal share in developed markets, while Apple and Samsung are doing well in both developed and emerging markets.
Xiaomi has a high market share in Southeast Asia and Eastern Europe, VIVO is mainly expanding in Latin America and Southeast Asia, and OPPO’s overseas market is mainly focused on Asia from the South East. Currently, the export strategy of Chinese consumer electronics brands is basically profitable. The threshold for entering developed markets is high, so the most appropriate choice is to explore emerging markets first.
Moreover, data from Similarweb shows that the gender ratio of consumers of the three Chinese brands is around 7:3, while the proportion of users aged 18-34 is around 60%. Therefore, Chinese brands can pay more attention to the needs of Generation Z (people born between the late 1990s and early 2010s) and male users when exploring foreign markets and also consider women. and older users.
2) Website performance of Chinese smartphone brands overseas
Overall, the number of visitors for the three Chinese brands is much lower than for Samsung and Apple. Among them, Xiaomi has the highest monthly visits, while VIVO and OPPO are similar. The data shows that the volume of Chinese mobile phone brands overseas is relatively small, and there is plenty of room for expansion. It should be noted that Xiaomi’s website has the lowest bounce rate, indicating that its overseas independent website has higher information efficiency than the other two. However, all three bounce rates are relatively high, suggesting that they need to improve on their freelance website creation.
Google Trends data shows that at the beginning of Black Friday every year, the popularity of Samsung and Apple will peak; Xiaomi also has this cyclical characteristic, but its advertising efforts are much lower than those of Samsung and Apple from the magnitude peak; OPPO’s change in trend is not apparent, while VIVO shows an opposite trend. Therefore, when going abroad, Chinese brands should seize the opportunity of major overseas festivals and sales, increasing publicity to enhance their power and popularity.
Direct Visit: Traffic from users entering the URL directly, using a bookmark or saved link, etc. Direct traffic can be used as a barometer of brand strength (awareness and demand).
Organic Search: refers to search results from a search engine that cannot be influenced by paid advertising. Is the site well optimized for SEO? When there is a correlation with direct traffic, it indicates strong brand awareness, as many organic visits are driven by branded terms.
Social: This section displays the top social networks driving traffic to the selected site on desktop. This includes sites like YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, Douban and others. A website that generates consistent high traffic from social media is likely to have a community of loyal users.
Referrals: The website that receives a large amount of referral traffic is likely to have a strong affiliate strategy or get significant media coverage.
Paid search: The website that generates a large amount of traffic from paid search spends advertising budgets to increase brand awareness or target relevant audiences for specific products.
Other: including direct links to brand websites via email and advertising sites.
In terms of overseas traffic channel sources, the direct visits and original search traffic of the three Chinese brands are similar to those of Samsung and Apple, which shows that they have succeeded in developing their brand power. However, the traffic share of the three brands in social media and paid search is lower, indicating that user loyalty and uptake are still low. In the future, Chinese brands may increase their overseas marketing efforts, especially through social media, to broaden their reach to consumers and build user loyalty and brand influence.