Sam­sung un­der­lines sports, lo­cal­iza­tion

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - BUSINESS - By FAN FEIFEI in Nan­jing fan­[email protected]­nadaily.com.cn

South Korean tech­nol­ogy gi­ant Sam­sung Elec­tron­ics Co Ltd is look­ing to gain more mar­ket share in China’s cut­throat smart­phone sec­tor, at­tract­ing more young con­sumers es­pe­cially through a fo­cus on sports, as com­pe­ti­tion from lo­cal ri­vals mounts.

Kwon Gye-hyun, pres­i­dent of Sam­sung Elec­tron­ics China op­er­a­tions, said the com­pany at­taches huge im­por­tance to the Chi­nese mar­ket, and will ramp up its ef­forts in sports mar­ket­ing and lo­cal­iza­tion in China.

“With the help of soc­cer and the Olympic Games, we plan to in­crease our ef­forts in the sports and games events that the young gen­er­a­tion fol­lows, and close the gap with Chi­nese con­sumers.”

The com­pany will spon­sor Jiangsu Sun­ing Foot­ball Club from 2019 to 2021, with the Sam­sung logo ap­pear­ing on the play­ers’ shirts in all matches dur­ing the next three sea­sons.

Sam­sung has also ex­tended its spon­sor­ship con­tract with the In­ter­na­tional Olympic Com­mit­tee by eight years and will re­main a top spon­sor un­til the 2028 Los An­ge­les Games.

The tech be­he­moth was an of­fi­cial partner of the Chi­nese Su­per League be­tween 2013 and 2015, the coun­try’s top-tier soc­cer com­pe­ti­tion.

The com­pany also plans to carry out in-depth co­op­er­a­tion with Chi­nese com­mer­cial gi­ant Sun­ing Hold­ings Group in both its on­line and off­line re­tail chan­nels, to launch in­no­va­tive prod­ucts at­trac­tive to young shop­pers in China, said Kwon.

Sun Weimin, Sun­ing’s vice-chair­man, said the com­pany will pro­mote the up­grade of its on­line and off­line sales chan­nels, as well as main­tain­ing close co­op­er­a­tion with Sam­sung in brand pub­lic­ity, mar­ket ex­pan­sion and in­ter­ac­tion with fans.

Roger Sheng, re­search di­rec­tor at con­sul­tancy Gart­ner Inc, said Sam­sung is in ur­gent need of a strong partner in China to ex­pand its re­tail chan­nels.

“They should de­sign tai­lor-made smart­phones for Chi­nese con­sumers and strengthen co­op­er­a­tion with lo­cal con­tent providers to of­fer prod­ucts that cap­ture the at­ten­tion of the young gen­er­a­tion.”

The com­pany has faced pres­sure from lo­cal com­peti­tors’ strong growth. Statis­tics from mar­ket re­search firm In­ter­na­tional Data Corp showed that Huawei Tech­nolo­gies Co Ltd con­tin­ued to lead China’s smart­phone mar­ket with ship­ments of 25.2 mil­lion units dur­ing the third quar­ter of this year, rep­re­sent­ing 24.6 per­cent of the mar­ket share.

How­ever, Sam­sung once again re­mained the global leader in the smart­phone mar­ket, ship­ping 72.2 mil­lion units in the third quar­ter of the year, de­spite a 13.4 per­cent de­cline in ship­ments from last year.

Ac­cord­ing to IDC, Sam­sung’s big­ger chal­lenge is the ground it is los­ing at the mid-range and low-end.

Sam­sung said it is strength­en­ing its com­pet­i­tive­ness in the medi­u­mend smart­phone mar­ket, with the launch of the Galaxy A9s and A6s for young con­sumers in China.

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