Taiwanese electronics company HTC shut down its official Chinese community forum today, a move that confirms its exit from the Chinese smartphone market.
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In a post on Jan. 21, HTC announced the official closure of the online forum on February 7, and asked its customers to add its official service account on WeChat for future support. HTC Elevate, an invite-only online community for HTC enthusiasts, was also shut down last month.
While the official shutdown is a big blow to fans and customers, it doesn’t come as a surprise. In May 2019, HTC suspended its flagship stores on JD.com and Tmall, two of China’s largest e-commerce platforms, signaling a to its long-term business strategy in China. Also, HTC did not launch any of its smartphones in the Chinese market last year. Many believe that completely dropping out of the mainland China smartphone market is just a matter of time for HTC.
As the manufacturer of the world’s first ever Android phone back in 2008, HTC once dominated the industry with a market value of over 200 billion yuan in 2011, only second to Apple among all mobile phone makers. However, the company has taken a rapid downturn in recent years. Its total revenues were around 2.3 billion yuan in 2019, 1/40 of its peak performance of 100.7 billion yuan in 2011.
HTC has shifted its focus towards virtual reality for the past few years, as their smartphone business prospects are underwhelming.