Samsung launched the Galaxy Note 8 in China earlier this month. It teamed up with WeChat Pay for the Galaxy Note 8 in the country. The South Korean company is now trying hard to win back the trust of consumers in the country after the Galaxy Note 7 fiasco. However, its job has become even tougher due to the negative coverage of the new phablet by Chinese mass media.
According to a report by Business Korea, Chinese mass media has been publishing negative articles about the Galaxy Note 8 every day, trying to make a diversion. Media companies are comparing the pre-order numbers of the Galaxy Note 8 with the iPhone 8. Samsung latest phablet received over 20,000 pre-orders while the iPhone 8 received over four million pre-orders. However, it should be noted that customers have pay CNY 100 (about $15) for pre-booking a Galaxy Note 8, while there is no need to pay any money to pre-order an iPhone 8.
A deposit system for pre-booking a Galaxy Note 8 means that they’re more likely to result in an actual purchase. A Samsung Electronics official said, “We have introduced the deposit system for preorder in China to increase the likelihood of an actual purchase. Preorders of the Galaxy Note 8 are higher than the previous model.” The extremely high pricing of the Galaxy Note at CNY 6,988 (about $1,061) is also a factor for low pre-orders of the Galaxy Note 8. The Xiaomi Mi Mix 2, with a bezel-less screen and a Snapdragon 835 processor, is priced at just CNY 3,299 (about $501).
One more factor that’s hurting Samsung in China is the anti-South Korean sentiment that has developed since the deployment of Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD). Chinese consumers and media have been knocking off South Korean brands, including Hyundai, LG, and Samsung, and they’re avoiding purchasing products from those brands. According to the latest numbers from research firm Counterpoint Research, Samsung has a market share of just 3 percent in China’s smartphone segment, while Huawei, Oppo, Vivo, and Xiaomi collectively have a market share of 87 percent.
A China’s state-run weekly magazine reported, “The THAAD issue is one of the big factors that the Galaxy Note 8 is having a hard time in China. The anti-South Korean sentiment made Chinese consumers don’t shop at Lotte Mart nor buy Samsung, LG and Hyundai products.” A Chinese IT news outlet said, “The iPhone 8 received more than 4 million preorders, but the Samsung Note 8 received only thousands of preorders.”