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Chinese Smartphone Makers in New Push for U.S. Market

In a move that would have seemed unlikely a year ago, numerous mainland Chinese smartphone makers are placing new and bigger bets on the saturated U.S. market.

The efforts are driven by the belief that Samsung Electronics, despite its hefty market share, hasn’t captured the loyalty of its smartphone customers in the way that Apple has, and that recent moves by wireless carriers towards selling more smartphones without long-term contracts will help them compete.

This group of Chinese manufacturers includes one of the top smartphone players outside the U.S., Huawei Technologies, and a slew of others—most notably Xiaomi, Alcatel Mobile Phones, ZTE, Oppo Electronics and Gionee Communication Equipment. 

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And Huawei and ZTE are mainly network equipment providers whose smartphone businesses will always remain secondary. Huawei and ZTE also have to worry about protecting their home turf from the rising Xiaomi, which is also now targeting other Asian markets including India.

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The Chinese companies also are banking on more consumers getting comfortable buying devices online rather than through stores, which few do today.