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Digitimes Research: China makers shipped over 181 million smartphones in 4Q16

Including export sales, China-based smartphone makers shipped a total of 181.8 million smartphones in the fourth quarter of 2016, up 4.4% on quarter and 12.8% on year, according to Digitimes Research.

China Mobile's policy of offering subsidies to encourage consumers to upgrade to 4G services was credited for continued shipment growth at China-based smartphone vendors, Digitimes Research said.

Vendors' efforts to push sales overseas were affected partially by India government's move to replace old banknotes with new ones, as vendors saw their combined overseas shipments increase only 4.7% on quarter and 4.1% on year to 80 million units in the fourth quarter.

Huawei was the top vendor in the quarter, followed by Oppo, Vivo, ZTE and TCL (Alcatel), with the top-2 vendors seeing their quarterly shipments reach over 30 million units each.

Affected by seasonal factors and the tightening up effects of India's monetary policy, vendors are expected to see their overseas shipments decline in the first quarter of 2017 as compared to a year earlier.

Overall, combined smartphone shipments by vendors in China are likely to contract by 28.2% sequentially to 130.5 million units in the first quarter of 2017, Digitimes Research estimated.