Huawei overtakes Samsung as top smartphone seller

Huawei has overtaken Samsung to become the number one smartphone seller worldwide in the second quarter this year, industry tracker Canalys said on July 30, 2020. (File/AFP)
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Updated 30 July 2020

Huawei overtakes Samsung as top smartphone seller

  • Canalys said Huawei, which is facing US sanctions and falling overseas sales, shipped 55.8 million devices
  • Huawei has become a pivotal issue in the geopolitical standoff between Beijing and Washington

BEIJING: China’s Huawei has overtaken Samsung to become the number-one smartphone seller worldwide in the second quarter on the back of strong domestic demand, industry tracker Canalys said Thursday.
Canalys said the embattled firm, which is facing US sanctions and falling overseas sales, shipped 55.8 million devices — overtaking Samsung for the first time, which shifted 53.7 million units.
The findings marked the first quarter in nine years that a company other than Samsung or Apple has led the market, Canalys said.
US sanctions had “stifled” Huawei’s business outside mainland China, the research group added, but it had grown to dominate its substantial home market.
More than 70 percent of Huawei smartphones are now sold in the country, Canalys said, where Samsung has a very small share of the market.
Huawei said in a statement it was a sign of “exceptional resilience.”
Overseas shipments, however, fell nearly a third in the second quarter and Canalys analyst Mo Jia warned that strength in China alone “will not be enough to sustain Huawei at the top once the global economy starts to recover.”
“Its major channel partners in key regions, such as Europe, are increasingly wary of ranging Huawei devices, taking on fewer models, and bringing in new brands to reduce risk,” Mo said.
Huawei — the world’s top producer of telecoms networking equipment — has become a pivotal issue in the geopolitical standoff between Beijing and Washington, which claims the firm poses a significant cybersecurity threat.
Washington has essentially barred Huawei from the US market and waged a global campaign to isolate the company.
The British government bowed to growing US pressure and pledged earlier this month to remove Huawei from its 5G network by 2027, despite warnings of retaliation from Beijing.
The politically-fraught change requires companies to stop buying new 5G equipment from Huawei starting next year and strip out existing gear by the end of 2027.
On Wednesday the US ambassador in Brasilia warned of “consequences” if Brazil chooses Huawei for the project to develop the next generation of telecommunications technology in Latin America’s most populous country.
Australia and Japan have taken steps to block or restrict the Chinese company’s participation in their 5G rollouts, and European telecoms operators including Norway’s Telenor and Sweden’s Telia have passed over Huawei as a supplier.
The US has also requested the extradition of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou on fraud charges, further damaging relations between China and Canada, where she is under house arrest.
Meng, the Chinese telecom giant’s chief financial officer, was arrested on a US warrant in December 2018 during a stopover in Vancouver and has been fighting extradition ever since.


Turkey on brink of recession as economy collapses

Updated 13 August 2020

Turkey on brink of recession as economy collapses

  • Consumer debt has increased by 25 percent to more than $100 billion in the past three months

JEDDAH: President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s popularity is plunging in lockstep with Turkey’s collapsing economy and the country is on the verge of a potentially devastating recession, financial experts have told Arab News.
The value of the Turkish lira has fallen to 7.30 against the US dollar and the central bank has spent $65 billion to prop up the currency, according to the US investment bank Goldman Sachs.
Consumer debt has increased by 25 percent to more than $100 billion in the past three months as the government moved to help families during the coronavirus pandemic, but the result has been a surge in inflation to 12 percent.
With the falling lira and increased price of imported goods, the living standards of many Turks who earn in lira but have dollar debts have fallen sharply.
The economy is expected to shrink by about 4 percent this year. The official unemployment rate remains at 12.8 percent because layoffs are banned, although many experts say the real figures are far higher.
To complete the perfect storm, tourism revenues and exports have been decimated by the pandemic, and foreign capital has fled amid fears over economic trends and the independence of the central bank.
Wolfango Piccoli, of Teneo Intelligence in London, said logic dictated an increase in interest rates but “this is unlikely to happen.”
Piccoli said central bank officials would strive to avoid an outright rate hike at their monetary policy meeting on Aug. 20. “A mix of controlled devaluation and backdoor policies, such as limiting Turkish lira’s liquidity, remains their preferred approach,” he said.
There is speculation of snap elections, and Erdogan’s view is that higher interest rates cause inflation, despite considerable economic evidence to the contrary.