The likes of Huawei, Oppo and Xiaomi may be little known in the West (for now at least), but in a country of over a billion people, such brands have jumped at the chance to exploit a customer base numbering in the hundreds of millions.
Recent figures from analyst firm Strategy Analytics show that Huawei, probably the best-known Chinese brand in the West, overtook Samsung to become the world’s most profitable Android device maker in the last quarter of 2016.
Many of these Chinese phone makers will be launching new devices at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona next month, allowing them to grab more media attention, and therefore more consumer awareness.
The power of marketing in the hyper-competitive smartphone market cannot be denied, and several Chinese firms have already tried to show off their goods in a big way.
Huawei currently has partnerships with many leading European football clubs, including Arsenal, Paris St Germain, AC Milan and Borussia Dortmund.
Adverts for the likes of Oppo and Vivo, whose phones retail at the fraction of the price of Apple and Samsung, are also becoming commonplace at televised sporting games, especially those which are broadcast back in China.
Vivo phones even made an appearance in last year’s biggest superhero movie, with a branded concept Vivo device ending up in the hands of Robert Downey Junior’s Iron Man in the blockbuster Avengers: Civil War - a film seen by millions worldwide.