While the mainstream business model for manufacturing and distributing mobile handsets remains leveraging the OBM/ODM/OEM/EMS model, a whole new paradigm has developed within China's domestic market, according to a new report from Digitimes Research.
The local China-based industry called "Shanzhai," but translated as "white box," is based on small-scale or underground factories whose products are seldom sold through regular sales channels, but the scale of the market now rivals that of global top-10 brands or major Chinese brands in the domestic China market, Digitimes Research pointed out. The "white-box" industry currently accounts for more than 100 million handset shipments, and some players in the market, such as K-Touch (Beijing Tianyu Communication Equipment) and Gionee have made the leap to become recognized brands.
While accounting for about one-third of domestic handset shipments, the white-box industry in China has been working under the acquiescence, and even active encouragement in some cases, of the government and is proclaimed by its proponents as representing the success of China's homegrown innovation and enterprise. The Digitimes Research special report examines the difference between the traditional ODM supply chain and the virtual organization used by white-box players, and highlights the advantages of the white-box business model.