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China’s leading mobile players are continuing to take a stranglehold of the Indian smartphone market, with reports claiming that Chinese brands now account for a whopping 66% of the Indian smartphone market.

Comprehensive research compiled by analyst firm Counterpoint Research has indicated that Chinese companies have grown their market share by 20% year-on-year following the first-quarter of 2019.

The primary factor for the surge in growth was attributed to Chinese brands such as Vivo, OPPO and Real-me, and OPPO spin-off. Counterpoint highlighted how Vivo has grown its volume by an incredible 119%, whilst OPPO had grown by 28%.

OPPO, Vivo and OnePlus are all owned by the multinational firm BBK Electronics Corporation.

"Vivo’s expanding portfolio in the mid-tier (₹7000-₹14,000 or roughly US$100-US$180) [segment] drove its growth along with [an] aggressive IPL campaign around [the] flagship V series," Counterpoint said.

"OPPO, on the other hand, focused on expanding its portfolio in the less crowded ₹15,000-₹25,000 (roughly US$210-US$350) segment."

Counterpoint associate director Tarun Pathak also illustrated that Indian market was attracting huge interest from China and other major global players because data consumption was proliferating and consumers were upgrading their phones much faster than in other regions.

"This has led to users spending more on their purchase which is driving up the overall average selling price in the market," Pathak said.

"As a result of this, the premium specs are now diffusing faster into the mid-tier price brands. We estimate this trend to continue leading to a competitive mid-tier segment in coming quarters.”

Overall, Indian smartphone shipments increased by 4% year-on-year for the quarter, with demand picking up during the latter part of the first three months. However, Counterpoint research analyst Anshika Jain stated that overall growth was much slower than anticipated because some big brands had unsold inventory after building up stock during the festive season in the last three months of 2018.

"This quarter we have seen all major brands expanding their footprint in offline channels to gain market share. Xiaomi has laid out big plans for offline expansion by increasing its number of retail stores (Mi Preferred Partners), Mi Homes, and Mi Stores specifically to target smaller towns. Realme, which started as an online-only brand, now gets the majority of its sales from offline channels. OnePlus is also now increasing its offline points of sale by launching exclusive stores across key cities.”