SEOUL, Jun. 11 (Korea Bizwire) — South Korea’s exports of handsets fell to a 15-year low over the January-April period this year, data showed Monday, apparently on the growth of Chinese rivals in the global market.
According to the data compiled by the Ministry of Science and ICT and Statistics Korea, the country shipped US$4.8 billion worth of handsets in the four-month period, down 26 percent from the same period last year.
This marked the lowest number since $4.5 billion posted over the first four months of 2003. South Korea’s exports of handsets had reached a whopping $11.6 billion in 2008.
The country’s exports of handsets later backtracked to $5.7 billion but rebounded to between $8-9 billion after 2014 following the expanding sales of smartphones.
South Korea’s exports of handsets, however, continued to fall starting in 2016 as Chinese rivals rolled out more price-competitive devices in the market.
Local companies also produced more smartphones abroad than home, with the overseas production accounting for 91 percent of the total as of 2017, compared with just 16 percent posted in 2010.
By region, South Korea’s exports of handsets to China fell 27.4 percent to $340 million in April from a year earlier. Shipments to the United States also decreased 40.8 percent to $390 million over the cited period.
Industry watchers said South Korean tech firms should focus efforts on improving their competitiveness against Chinese rivals and set better marketing strategies for the Chinese market.