Chinese brands quickly filled the place left by foreign companies from the Russian market after the war in Ukraine, CNN Business reported on the 25th (local time).

The media reported that in Russia, Samsung Electronics and Apple have stopped shipping products, Chinese companies such as Xiaomi are dominating the mobile phone market, and the situation in the car market is the same.

According to market research firm Counterpoint, Samsung and Apple, which were the first and second in the Russian smartphone market in December 2021 before the war, had a combined share of 53%, at 35% and 18%, respectively, but in December 2022, the total fell to 3%, including 2% and 1%, respectively.

By comparison, the share of Chinese manufacturers jumped from 40% to 95% over the same period.

At the top of the Russian smartphone sales ranking are Chinese products such as Xiaomi and Realme.

Jan Strijak, deputy director of Counterpoint, explained, "Chinese low-end brands Xiaomi, Realme and Honor reacted quickly and seized the opportunity."

Russian shipments of these three brands in the third quarter of last year increased by 39%, 190% and 24%, respectively, compared to the previous quarter.

Xiaomi, in particular, has been the biggest beneficiary, doubling its market share over the past year, becoming the No. 1 seller of smartphones in Russia.

The auto market showed a similar pattern, with Renault, Hyundai, and Kia withdrawing from Russia after the invasion of Ukraine, with Chinese car brands such as Geely making a leap forward.

According to S&P Global Mobility, over the past year, China's Chery and Changcheng Motors have risen to the top 10 passenger car brands in the Russian market.

In comparison, German BMW and Mercedes-Benz were pushed out of the top 10.

Auto market analyst Autostart said Chinese car sales rose 7 percent to 121,800 units in the Russian market last year, despite the overall slowdown in the auto market.

Russian domestic brand Lada also had a market share of 28% last year, up from 22% the previous year.

During this period, Kia's share decreased from 13% to 10% and Hyundai's from 10% to 9%, respectively.

"There was a big gap in the market (due to the withdrawal of foreign companies following the war in Ukraine), and the Chinese people were willing to fill that void," said Latu, head of Beijing-based consulting firm Sinoauto Insight.

While Chinese companies have grown their presence by filling the void left by global brands, the Russian market itself has contracted due to the economic downturn.

According to Counterpoint, smartphone sales in Russia fell 33% to 21 million units last year.

That's a bigger drop than a 20% drop in smartphone sales in Europe.

Autostart said the situation worsened last year, with the size of the Russian car market shrunk by 60% from the previous year.

Experts are still inconclusive as to whether the market has changed irreversibly.

Some predict that once the war in Ukraine ends and Apple, Samsung, etc. resume business in Russia, they will quickly regain their share.

Even now, some consumers buy Apple or Samsung phones imported in parallel through neighboring countries such as Kazakhstan.

Consumers who want premium brand cars likewise travel to Kazakhstan or Uzbekistan to buy Mercedes or Audi.

However, even if foreign brands return to the Russian market, it is expected that Chinese companies will be able to gain ground, given the time it takes to rebuild their supply chains.

Ultimately, how long the war goes on will determine the market, CNN Business noted.

"To use a rough analogy, Russian and Chinese brands are like bands of leading actors," said Rus, CEO of SinoAuto Insight, "and the band may take on a permanent role."

(Photo=Capture of Chinese groom, Yonhap News)