The Chinese consumer electronics market is being transformed by the changing face of consumer entertainment. The rise of streaming services has generated increasing demand for enhanced audio and visual experiences, stimulating upmarket trends across a range of categories.
The overall consumer electronics market saw continued volume decline in 2019, largely as a result of falling volumes in the important computers and peripherals, and smartphones categories, which are seeing their potential for expansion constrained by deep penetration levels and maturity. The end of the review period did, however, see areas of growth, driven in part by a growing trend towards specialisation and personalisation as manufacturers increasingly targeted the requirements of particular consumer groups.
Domestic players continued to dominate the Chinese consumer electronics market in 2019, occupying eight of the top 10 places in the rankings during the year. Chinese companies have the ability to compete aggressively in terms of price and the advantage of extensive distribution networks, as well as an intimate knowledge of the character of local demand.
Internet retailing became the largest distribution channel for consumer electronics in 2018 and continued to increase its share of overall volumes in 2019. E-commerce is booming across a wide range of consumer goods categories in China, and is particularly compatible with consumer electronics, in part because of the demographic and tech-savvy character of the core consumer base.
Consumer electronics is forecast to see an ongoing fall in volumes over 2019-2024. Key categories such as computers and peripherals, and smartphones will continue to be constrained by deep levels of penetration, while smartphones and apps are set to render task-specific products increasingly irrelevant and discourage consumers from replacing laptops and tablets.
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This industry report originates from Passport, our Consumer Electronics market research database.