Smartphone maker Gionee is reported to have made significant job cuts, as it suffered following an expensive battle with its device market rivals.

The company is said to have cut half of the staff from its main manufacturing plant in Dongguan, China. With slowed growth in its home market, bigger players including Xiaomi and Huawei are increasing their spend on marketing to protect their share, making it difficult for tier-two or tier-three players to do business.

South China Morning Post reported Gionee was the biggest of the smaller players (after Huawei, Oppo, Vivo, Xiaomi and international rival Apple) and spent more than $1 billion over two years building its business.

But earlier this year, a court ordered a freeze on a stake in the company held by founder Liu Lirong, due to failures to pay suppliers.

Gionee executives said they are “confident” measures such as the job cuts will enable it to continue business. It is eyeing an increased presence in the Indian market for growth, and is also reported to be in talks with new investors.