HTC pulls smartphone sales from Tmall and JD.com in China after falling behind domestic players

HTC pulls smartphone sales from Tmall and JD.com in China after falling behind domestic players

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Taiwanese handset maker HTC Corp has decided to pull phone sales from China’s two largest e-commerce platforms after struggling to find a significant share of the world’s largest smartphone market.

“Due to consideration of HTC China’s long-term business strategy, we will temporarily close the HTC flagship mobile phone stores on JD.com and Tmall,” HTC said on its official Sina Weibo account, Tmall being the business-to-consumer platform of Alibaba Group Holding.

Consumers can still purchase HTC smartphones and accessories through HTC’s self-run online sales platform and its bricks-and-mortar HTC VIVE Flagship Store in Shenzhen, according to the company, without further elaborating on the reasons for scaling back its sales platform in China.

HTC, which made the first-ever Android phone in 2008 and was once a popular phone brand in China, has been edged out of the mainstream market in recent years with domestic vendors including Huawei, Vivo, Oppo and Xiaomi rising to the top and securing about 80 per cent total market share in the country.

Shipments of HTC mobile handsets to China are unknown, and the vendor has been classified into the “others” sector in research agency reports, which includes other small players in China such as Samsung and Meizu.

The struggling Taiwanese consumer electronics firm, which slashed almost a quarter of its workforce in 2018, is betting that blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies represent the next wave of innovation for the smartphone market, and it launched the HTC Exodus blockchain phone in May last year.

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