Russian smartphone firm strikes China distribution deal

A Russian smartphone manufacturer has announced a huge distribution deal in China, as the battle to dominate the world’s largest smartphone market heats up.

Yota Company has revealed that it has secured a contract with Potevio in order to sell the firm’s YOTAPHONE2 handsets in the Asian country.

Read more: Yotaphone 2 launches in Europe, but it’s not cheap

Potevio is one of China’s top three distributors of mobile electronics, with the company boasting sales figures of 36 million in 2014 and an annual turnover of $7.3 billion (£4.8 billion). As part of the deal, Potevio will also offer domestic marketing support for the YOTAPHONE2.

Yota CEO Vladislav Martynov believes that the firm can build on its success in Europe and the Middle East by infiltrating the Chinese market.

“The contract with Potevio is the start of YOTAPHONE2 sales throughout China in the first quarter of 2015,” he said. “For the Chinese market, we created a special version of YOTAPHONE2 supporting local LTE frequencies. This version also includes a package of the most popular mobile applications in China and social networks localised and adapted for the second screen.”

Mr Martynov added that plans were underway to launch YOTAPHONE2 in other global markets including Indonesia and Latin and North America.

If Yota is to be successful in China, it faces some stiff competition. Domestic firms, particularly those offering budget handsets have traditionally been most successful in the country. Xiaomi and Lenovo are leading the way, but a recent upturn in sales of Apple’s iPhone may give Yota cause for belief that the market is open to international brands.

Vice president of Potevio, Mr Shan Zhao, certainly believes that the YOTAPHONE2 can be a success in China.

Read more: China now the most powerful mobile market

“The Chinese market shows high demand for YOTAPHONE2 before the start of the international sales of the smartphone,” he said. “Competition and segmentation in consumer electronics is quite high in China, experienced users have the opportunity to be among the first in the world to receive flagship leading manufacturers and be almost at a professional level to monitor trends in the industry of mobile communication devices.”