What you need to know
- HTC has stopped selling its phones at Tmall and JD in China.
- "Due to the consideration of HTC China's long-term business strategy."
- The company will keep selling phones on its own online site.
Once one of the undisputed Android kings, HTC's smartphone division has been in a rut for quite a while now. Most recently, the company made a decision that strongly suggests it's looking to exit the Chinese smartphone market in the near future.
Per a post on Chinese social network Weibo, HTC announced the following:
Due to the consideration of HTC China's long-term business strategy, we will temporarily close the HTC mobile phone Jingdong flagship store and Tmall flagship store. HTC smartphones and accessories can still be purchased through HTC Official Mall and HTC VIVE Flagship Store. We will continue to provide quality pre-sales and after-sales service as always.
Jingdong and Tmall are two of China's largest e-commerce sites, so this would essentially be like a company deciding to stop selling its phones on Amazon and B&H in the U.S.
HTC does note that it's removing the phones "temporarily", but I personally have a hard time believing that a move of this nature is a good sign for the company's future. Furthermore, as MySmartPrice notes, HTC's own online store has sort of fallen to the wayside with the HTC U11 and U11+ being out of stock. Even here in the U.S., most versions of the U12+ show up as being on back order.
Unfortunately for HTC, this wouldn't be the first time talk has come out about it exiting the smartphone business in a major country. Back in July 2018, it was reported that HTC was planning on pulling out of India due to fierce competition from the likes of Xiaomi, Vivo, and OPPO. At the time, its phones accounted for less than 1% of the country's market share.
HTC announced earlier this year that it's creating the HTC 5G Hub as a way to bring 5G into people's homes through carrier partnerships, but we've yet to hear any talk of a new HTC smartphone so far this year.