There were 178 million handsets shipped in the China market during January-May 2014, decreasing over 70 million units on year. The decrease was mainly because China Mobile shifted marketing resources to promote 4G TD-LTE smartphones and reduced subsidies for 2G and TD-SCDMA (3G) handset purchases, according to Digitimes Research.
The reduced subsidies were a factor in the 77% decline of 2G handsets in China during the time period. Additionally, China Telecom and China Unicom had not yet started 4G commercial operation due to licensing issues, which further pushed down shipments.
However, China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology issued two FD-LTE pilot operation licenses to China Unicom and China Telecom on June 27, 2014 for several cities in China, which will push 4G developments in China as well as increase handset shipments, added Digitimes Research.
Meanwhile, the China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC) has announced that mobile Internet users in China reached 527 million as of June 2014.
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