Samsung continues to face an uphill battle in China, with state media criticising the low pre-order rate of Galaxy Note 8 devices.
We know that the Chinese government doesn’t like Western Culture. Previous President Hu Jintao and current President Xi Jinping have both imposed several sanctions on letting our influence ‘infect’ the youth of their country. Recently, Jinping ordered the country’s universities to “adhere to the correct political orientation,” which included clear teachings on Marxist theory and socialist values. Of the many western electronic brands who have tried to break the Chinese market, many have failed. Apple only commands an 8% share of smartphone sales, with Huawei, OPPO, Vivo and Xiaomi commanding over 87% combined.
Despite enjoying plenty of success in Europe, India and the USA, Samsung continues to struggle in China. They currently sit at the bottom, with only 3% share. The Korean electronics manufacturer has been constantly bombarded by the Chinese government and state media with negative publicity, which included a patent battle with Huawei. The company lost and was forced to hand over $11.6 million to the Chinese manufacturer, a relatively small sum of money for the electronics powerhouse. Still, the media had quite a field day in painting Samsung as the ‘bad guy’. This is in addition to all the political backlash South Korea is facing in general, for its deployment of the U.S. THAAD missile defense system.
More recently, Chinese state media seems to have taken fire at the Galaxy Note 8, criticising the low pre-sale numbers against native counterparts. The Note 8 has only managed 20,000 pre-orders so far, which is a pretty bad figure. Compare this to the iPhone 8, which has achieved over 4 million. In Samsung’s defense, the company uses a deposit system in China to ensure that every handset pre-order translates to an actual sale.
Despite setbacks in China, Samsung continues to make a strong drive for the market. Dong-jin Koh, head of Samsung’s mobile business, said in his meeting with Korean reporters that the market was a key part of the company’s strategy going forward.
“China is the market we can never give up. Although we have had a hard time over the past two years in the market, we believe Chinese consumers will react to and recognize good products.”