China Business Video - Smart wearables market booms in China

Saturday, January 23, 2021

From fancy voice-interaction wireless earbuds and watches that can access smartphone apps to devices able to make calls and monitor heart rates to Virtual Reality (VR) glasses, technological advances have enriched these devices' functions and increased their appeal.

As the Spring Festival is drawing near, some electronic gadgets outlets in Beijing are receiving more consumers to pick up smart bracelets and watches.

"I've just bought a smart watch. The salesman told me that this watch could be worn in water. I'm kind of surprised and want to give it a try to see if it could trace my heart rate while swimming," said a consumer Ru.

"This new series of watches have more functions and are equipped with many sports modes that my watch doesn't have. So I want to buy a new one this year as a Chinese New Year gift for mys," said a customer Cheng.

When Cheng was about to place an order, the salesman told him that the new watch has run out of stock and he needs to order in advance.

"The wearable devices are selling well, because people are paying more attention to health, and the smart watches are capable of tracing blood oxygen saturation and heart rates," said Peng Cunbin, a salesman.

China's shipment of wearable devices registered a double-digit growth in the third quarter of 2020. The total shipment reached 32.93 million units in Q3, up 15.3 percent year on year, according to a report from global market research firm International Data Corporation (IDC).

From July to September in 2020, the shipment of basic wearable devices, which do not support third-party apps, increased by 16.6-percent or 26.16 million units over that a year earlier and that of smart ones rose by 10.6 percent.

"The sales of smart wearables recorded a significant rise of 36 percent year in the fourth quarter of 2020 over that in the same period of 2019. Both domestic and foreign brands increased their input in product development and sales promotion," said Wang Bo, general manager of the Beijing Suning Holdings Group.

Meanwhile, many smart wearables brands have unveiled products tailored to different consumer groups to meet their diversified demand. For children, the wearable devices may feature voice calling, multiple positioning and learning functions and for the elderly, they may feature health monitoring, emergency call and medicine take reminder functions.

"The future development shows that the market may be further segmented to the maximum that cannot be monopolized by any big companies. But it is up to some medium-sized and small enterprises to develop the segmentation," said Zeng Jianqiu, professor of the Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications.

Huawei took up almost 30 percent of the shipped units in Q3 in 2020, followed by Xiaomi and Apple, with market shares of 22 percent and 17.8 percent, respectively, IDC data showed.

In 2019, the shipment of wearable devices in China rose by 37.1 percent to reach 99.24 million units, data from the IDC showed.