Government figures showed smartphone shipments in China fell sharply in 2020 as the Covid-19 (coronavirus) pandemic slowed demand and interrupted supply chains, but interest in 5G models surged and comprised more than half of the total.

Data from the China Academy of Information and Communications (CAICT) showed total shipments dropped 20.4 per cent year-on-year to 295.7 million units, 55 per cent of which were 5G models.

Overall phone shipments fell 23.5 per cent to 269.6 million units: the proportion from domestic manufacturers stood at 87.5 per cent.

Despite the hit from Covid-19, Gartner previously noted smartphone production in China had largely normalised by the end of Q3.

Recent figures from TrendForce predicted global smartphone production would recover this year, after declining 11 per cent year-on-year in 2020.