Smartphone maker Xiaomi posts slowest-ever revenue growth in third quarter

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SHANGHAI (Reuters) – Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi Corp (HK:) posted its slowest-ever quarterly revenue growth, as the country’s smartphone market copes with a protracted lull in sales and bigger rival Huawei [HWT.UL] grabs more market share.

Revenue in the first quarter ended Sept. 30 rose 5.5% to 53.66 billion yuan from the same period last year, largely in line with analysts’ expectation of 53.74 billion yuan.

Net income rose to 3.47 billion yuan, up from 2.50 billion yuan a year ago.

Demand for smartphones has eased in China as consumers hold on to devices longer. As well, Chinese shoppers have rallied behind and boosted sales at Huawei, the world’s second-largest smartphone maker, which was added to a trade blacklist by the United States.

Xiaomi shipments to Chinese consumers fell by a third in the September quarter, according to market research firm Canalys, while Huawei’s rose 66%. Total smartphone shipments in China shrank 3%.

Once the darling of China’s smartphone industry, Xiaomi still makes most of it money selling smartphones but has been touting its aspirations to boost its internet services division, which mainly consists of online ad sales.

Revenue from this business jumped 12.3% to 5.31 billion yuan on the year. The unit contributed 10% of the company’s total sales, roughly the same as when it listed in August 2018.

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