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Honor announces plans to consolidate its markets and reduce international focus

Alex Yau
April 12, 2017

CEO George Zhao admits growing worldwide presence had made it harder to meet customers’ demands

Honor is to reduce its international focus over the next year, admitting its growing worldwide presence has stopped it from delivering the service expected of its customers.

The online sub-brand of Huawei launched in 2013 and currently has a presence in over 73 countries. Total sales figures have doubled consistently every year since launch, going from 10 million units at the end of 2013 to 40 million ($6 billon revenue) in 2015.

Increased annual sales

International sales (outside of China) in 2015 hit four million units, up from 1.4 million the previous year. Total figures for last year are due out this month.

Its Honor 8 Pro flagship smartphone was launched on April 5. It is the follow up to the hugely successful 8 device, which the company revealed at Mobile World Congress had helped it increase annual sales at the end of last year in Western Europe by more than 200 per cent.

Online channels have been where the company has made most of its growth through various campaigns and events. For example, its ‘Honor Club’ – an online members’ only group offering early access to devices and special events – has membership numbers stretching into the millions.

Changing focus

Honor CEO George Zhao claimed much of the brand’s success has been the interaction to its customers through these campaigns, but claimed its presence in 73 countries so far has stopped it from delivering a consistent level of service.

The company’s major focus over the next year would be in its native China, Western Europe, Russia, India, the Middle East, US and Japan.

“We’ve set out a strategy to consolidate the number of markets we’ve focused on over the next year,” he said.

“Last year saw us excel in delivery service experience. We gained a score of 46 per cent in the Net Promoter Scores, much higher than Apple and other smartphone brands. The success we had interacting with customers online helped us achieve this. Word of mouth is very important for us. ”

“However, we entered 73 markets and we grew too fast. We entered too many countries and could not guarantee the same service levels. Internally we have discussed how we can consolidate our markets to ensure future growth.”

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