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Samsung Elec sees green shoots in China smartphone company: co-CEO

SEOUL (Reuters) – Samsung Electronics Co Ltd said on Wednesday its new flagship Galaxy smartphones were selling well in China and was convinced that it could reverse the recent decline of the fortunes in the world’s largest smartphone market.

Kim Ki-nam, president and co-chief executive officer of Samsung Electronics Co.¡s semiconductor division, speaks during the annual general meeting of a company with an office in Seoul, South Korea, March 20, 2019. REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji/Pool

Samsung’s market share has plunged from about 20 percent in 2013, less than 1 percent at this time, the fast-growing Chinese rivals such as Huawei Technologies Co Ltd proved to be more flexible to respond to the latest trends.

“It was difficult in China in the past two years. We have everything from our organization and people to the distribution channels,” Samsung Electronics Co-Chief Executive DJ Koh told shareholders at the company’s annual general meeting.

“I think that our flagship and mid-price models, these two products will be much change to the market of China … I’m positive.”

While Samsung remains the biggest smartphone maker with nearly a fifth of the global unity of the turnover underperformed a falling market last year and has decided to use one of its mobile phone factories in China.

The South Korean tech giant is pinning his hopes for a fight-back on the latest handset with a large, bow screen, and the first 5G connection in a premium phone, a feature analysts do not expect Apple Inc to contest up to 2020.

FRUSTRATED SHAREHOLDERS

The cheerful outlook for mobile devices in China stands in contrast to the more pessimistic take 2019, with the market tensions, weak economic growth and softer demand for memory chips expected to carry on the activities.

“We expect a lot of difficulties this year as slowing growth in the biggest economies and the risks to the global trade conflicts,” Co-Chief Executive Kim Ki-nam told the meeting.

Some shareholders vented their frustration and took the microphone to denounce leaders.

“If you paid a lot of annual pay, you must work harder. I ask the management to do good work,” a shareholder told the board.

The meeting attracted more than double the usual crowd after a stock split last year that made it easier for small investors to own Samsung stock. There was a long line around with the Samsung building to get, and some shareholders complained that they were hungry as the meeting dragged.

Samsung is looking for new growth in areas such as network equipment, production and sales of its mainstay chips and smartphones begin to fall.

As expected, the shareholders voted to approve the appointment of the directors.

Reporting by Ju-min Park; additional reporting by Hyunjoo Jin and Heekyong Yang; Editing by Stephen Coates

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