Samsung underlines sports, localization
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.