Sam­sung swears by con­tent to forge re­bound in China

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - BUSINESS - By FAN FEIFEI fan­feifei@chi­

Sam­sung Elec­tron­ics Co Ltd an­nounced on Fri­day it has inked part­ner­ship agree­ments with Chi­nese con­tent providers and de­vel­op­ers, to speed up its lo­cal­iza­tion in the Chi­nese mar­ket amid mount­ing com­pe­ti­tion from lo­cal ri­vals.

The com­pany will join hands with con­tent providers such as in­ter­net gi­ant Ten­cent’s on­line video ser­vice plat­form, videostream­ing site, on­line news ag­gre­ga­tor Toutiao and the coun­try’s largest on­line travel agency Ctrip.

The South Korean chae­bol an­nounced its move at its firstever de­vel­oper con­fer­ence in China. Wang Tong, pres­i­dent of Sam­sung’s prod­uct strat­egy and R&D in China, said the com­pany will in­crease in­vest­ment in R&D re­lated to ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence, the in­ter­net of things and pre-5G mo­bile tele­com tech­nol­ogy.

“There are a large num­ber of Chi­nese de­vel­op­ers and we see huge po­ten­tial here. China is one of the most im­por­tant mar­kets for us around the world, so we pay much at­ten­tion to closer co­op­er­a­tion with lo­cal con­tent providers and de­vel­op­ers,” said Chen Liren, vice-pres­i­dent of Sam­sung’s con­tent strat­egy de­part­ment in China.

Chen added that Sam­sung Pay, a mo­bile pay­ments tool, has part­nered with Alibaba’s mo­bile wal­let app Ali­pay and UnionPay’s built-in Quick­Pass. It will in­clude fi­nan­cial ser­vices and util­ity bills in its mo­bile pay­ment tool in the fu­ture.

The strat­egy is Sam­sung’s re­sponse to its sag­ging for­tunes in the China mar­ket.

In March, it un­veiled its flag­ship smart­phones Galaxy S8 and S8+, aim­ing to re­store con­sumer con­fi­dence and re­ju­ve­nate slug­gish sales af­fected by the bat­tery fi­asco re­lated to its Galaxy Note7 smart­phone last year.

How­ever, the com­pany still faces fierce com­pe­ti­tion from

lo­cal smart­phone play­ers such as Huawei Tech­nolo­gies Co, which launched its P10 and P10 Plus mod­els with en­vi­able fea­tures, Oppo Elec­tron­ics Corp and Vivo Mo­bile Com­mu­ni­ca­tion Tech­nol­ogy Co Ltd, all of which have been steadily in­creas­ing their mar­ket share.

A re­port from Coun­ter­point Tech­nol­ogy Mar­ket Re­search said Sam­sung sold only 3.5 mil­lion smart­phones in China in the first quar­ter of this year, down 60 per­cent from 8.7 mil­lion units sold in the same

pe­riod last year.

The mar­ket share of Sam­sung in China has shrunk to 3.3 per­cent from 8.6 per­cent last year, slip­ping to sixth place be­hind its Chi­nese com­peti­tors and Ap­ple.

Roger Sheng, re­search direc­tor at con­sul­tancy Gart­ner Inc, said, “The ship­ment of Sam­sung’s smart­phones has wit­nessed a de­cline in China as the do­mes­tic ven­dors have stepped up ef­forts to launch a se­ries of high-qual­ity smart­phones and ex­pand off­line stores.”

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