BEIJING, May 1 (Xinhua) -- China's smartphone market took a hit in the first quarter of 2020 as the country struggled with the COVID-19 epidemic, but major smartphone vendors recorded better-than-expected performances, an industrial report showed.
Smartphone shipment in China declined 18 percent year on year to 73 million units in the first three months of this year, according to data from global technology market analyst firm Canalys.
However, the country's top five smartphone vendors have all been resilient, said the report, noting that Huawei, which continued to lead the market, even maintained a 1 percent growth in shipments annually amid the difficult market conditions.
Oppo retained the second place, while Vivo took third, whose shipments contracted 26 percent and 19 percent year on year in the first quarter, respectively. Xiaomi suffered a 26 percent decline in the same period to remain in the top four, followed by Apple in fifth.
Canalys noted the role of China's well-established e-commerce channel for smartphone distribution in supporting the market, as well as the fact that most Chinese businesses were able to resume work quickly after a nationwide suspension.
Regarding China's 5G development, the report said the COVID-19 epidemic has not had a material impact on the 5G progress, both in terms of infrastructure deployment on the side of operators and device launch of handset vendors.
Looking ahead, Canalys expected China's full-year smartphone shipment in 2020, at the best-case scenario, to reach 326 million units, including 137 million 5G smartphones, citing dampened domestic consumer confidence and spending power.