Sales of mobile phones in China increased 40% year on year to 120 million units in 2006, according to deputy chief of the China Mobile Communications Association Xie Linzhen. Xie said China had become one of the world's largest handset markets, adding sales would likely surge 25% to 150 million units this year.
In 2006 China produced a total of 450 million mobile phones, of which 350 million were exported, he noted.
According to the Ministry of Information, foreign mobile phone companies including Nokia and Motorala hold the lion's share of the market, while local mobile phone makers sold only 50 million units on domestic and overseas markets.
Xie added global mobile phone sales climbed 25% last year, with total shipments reaching one billion units. Worldwide sales were expected to grow 20% this year.
Last year the number of mobile users in China reached 461 million, up 68 million from 2005. "Chinese phone users on average buy new mobile phones every 21 months," Xie said.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2007