Smartphone shipments in China during May dropped 10.4 per cent year-on-year as demand for 5G models weakened, data from the China Academy of Information and Communications Technology (CAICT) showed.

Shipments during the month totalled 32.7 million, 90 per cent of which came from domestic brands, CAICT stated. Almost half (15.6 million), were 5G units, down 4.9 per cent on April (5G models went on sale in August 2019, so annual comparisons are not yet available).

The overall market showed signs of recovery in April, but the May numbers brought the total shipped in the opening five months of 2020 to 121.1 million units, down 16 per cent: CAICT reported 5G units totalled 46.1 million.

China Mobile and China Telecom added 20.2 million 5G subscribers in May, for a combined total of 85.6 million (China Unicom is yet to issue numbers): the gap between smartphones shipped and new subscribers is likely due to many users sticking with their 4G devices while taking up heavily discounted 5G plans.