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Samsung and Apple are clearly dominating the global market for smartphones, but when it comes to the Chinese smartphone market, a number of local players stand almost on par with the giants.

Even if the market is led by Samsung, the market share is more evenly distributed in China, according to data released by Hong Kong based research firm Counterpoint.

Samsung holds an 18% smartphone market share in China, followed by local players Lenovo at 12%, Xiaomi at 11% and Coolpad at 10%.

The growth of Xiaomi was particularly impressive as it raced to become the third largest smartphone brand in China in terms of shipment volumes for the march ending quarter for the first time ever.

IPhone maker Apple also claims a 10% market share in the country and is closely followed by domestic companies Huawei and ZTE.

A Statista chart based on data by Counterpoint is given below.

Infographic: Domestic Vendors Stand Strong in China's Smartphone Market | Statista
China Smartphone Market Statista

In general, the low-cost mobile phone makers in China have shaken the global market share of both Samsung and Apple, who experienced a decline in market share as at the end of the first quarter.

Samsung's share of market fell to 31.2% in the first quarter from 32.4% in the same period last year, while the iPhone maker's share fell by more than two percentage points to 15.3%, according to figures from Strategy Analytics.

Meanwhile, Huawei's share remained unchanged at 4.7% and Lenovo's share rose to 4.7% from 3.9%. Chinese companies accounted for more than 20% of the global smartphone market last year, compared to 8% in 2010, according to Strategy Analytics.

With US markets nearly saturated, smartphone makers are concentrating on emerging markets for business. China is currently the world's largest smartphone market with shipments nearly quadrupling over the last two years.

However, the rate of annual growth in the Chinese market is expected decline to about 10% next year, according to forecasts by research firm IDC.

The country has nearly 1 billion mobile phone users, with about 40% of them using smartphones.