Smartphone vendor HTC Corp (宏達電) announced on Thursday the appointment of Jack Tong (董俊良) as president of its China operations, where the Taiwanese company is squeezed by other high-end and low-cost phone makers.
Tong, who will still serve concurrently as HTC’s North Asia president, is expected to “actively explore China’s smartphone market and further enhance HTC’s sales growth and management efficiency” in his new position, the company said in a statement.
Tong’s predecessor, Ray Yam (任偉光), will focus on the development of HTC’s emerging business in China, the statement said.
China’s smartphone market, which accounted for 20 to 25 percent of HTC’s total shipments last year based on analysts’ estimates, is forecast to grow 75 percent this year.
However, HTC’s brand awareness among Chinese consumers grew slowly to 28.4 percent in the second quarter of the year from 23 percent a year earlier, a survey by global market research firm TrendForce Corp (集邦科技) showed.
By contrast, Chinese brand awareness of Apple Inc’s iPhone jumped from 54.9 percent to 80.6 percent over the same period, while that of Samsung Electronics Co surged from 59.9 percent to 79.6 percent.
Even domestic Chinese handset makers have made huge progress in brand recognition over the past year, with Xiaomi Technology Co (小米) rising from 3.9 percent to 15.4 percent, Lenovo Group (聯想) growing from 8.5 percent to 15.2 percent and Huawei Technologies Co (華為) gaining from 3.5 percent to 15.2 percent, TrendForce said.
HTC’s second-quarter net income dropped 83 percent from a year earlier, while revenue fell 22 percent.
Last month, the Taiwanese company said sales may drop for an eighth quarter in the three months ending Sept. 30 amid intensifying competition.