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(Pocket-lint) - The US authorities may have displayed a touch of paranoia over Chinese companies and their alleged allegiances with the country's government in the past, but there's no doubt that we have seen a rapid global rise in the popularity in tech products from the region. Not only are many of the biggest devices made in China but there are now several major players in the tech industry based there.

And there is little doubt that their influence over the western world will grow in 2015. Indeed, we could see Chinese consumer electronics firms attain the same kind of respect and market saturation as Korean majors Samsung and LG achieved several years ago - they were only so-called "Argos" brands initially and now look at them.

So we thought we'd give you a round-up of the Chinese companies worth keeping an eye on in the coming year. And as the number seven is considered to be lucky in China, we've chosen the seven tech firms from the region who we think will have the greatest impact.


To be fair Huawei already had a fabulous year in 2014, producing several superb devices and hitting third spot in the global smartphone market share table - ahead of fellow Chinese companies Xiaomi and Lenovo.

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Admittedly, it has some way to go to catch up to Apple and leader Samsung but we expect the brand to capitalise on its growing reputation to further cement its position in 2015. As the company also manufactures its own chips and builds OEM devices for other companies, including EE, it has a strong base to continue expansion.


Lenovo is the world's largest manufacturer of PCs, having absorbed Medion in recent memory (and IBM almost ten years ago) but it's the company's acquisition of Motorola from Google that will garner the most attention in the coming year.

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It plans to keep the Motorola brand firmly rooted in the US, which could be a clever move to keep fans happy that there will not be interference from afar, but there's no doubt that the manufacturing prowess of Lenovo's Chinese factories will aid production. As will its worldwide and, specifically, Asian distribution network affect sales.

Alibaba Group

Alibaba, the Chinese e-commerce company, saw a rise in shares of 56 per cent in 2014 thanks to an initial public offering and founder Jack Ma netted a further $25.1 billion (£16.01 billion) in the process.

The company is sort-of the Chinese Amazon but for the business-to-business trade primarily, selling job lots of all manner of items, including construction and real estate tools, consumer electronics and clothing. A UK portal is available but much of its success lies with its Chinese customers.


Like Huawei and Lenovo, Xiaomi has been successful in the international smartphone market in 2014 and that is expected to continue under the guidance of Google's Hugo Barra.

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The former head of Android has helped the company rise from 1.5 per cent market share in the third quarter of 2013 to 5.2 per cent in the equivalent period in 2014. Its 2015 performance will be dependent on whether people take the brand name to hearts in the same way they did Huawei's.


Sadly ZTE had somewhat of a consolidating, stagnant year in 2014. Its global mobile phone market share stayed fairly static at a time when Chinese rivals grew. However, it holds one of the largest patent portfolios in electronics in the world so capitalises on that strength often.

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It is also a supplier of cheaper handsets to networks around the world, including Vodafone in the UK, and is one of the major manufacturers associated with Mozilla's Firefox OS software for budget handsets. It's unlikely there will be a breakout flagship phone in 2015 but you can be sure that plenty of inexpensive devices from ZTE will be out over the coming year.


You might not have heard of HiSense specifically, but there is a chance that you've seen one of the brand's televisions over the years. After all, it makes OEM TVs for all manner of retailers globally.

HiSense sets are also available under the company's own name and are often a lot cheaper than bigger brand equivalents - with similar performance levels. It's perhaps a bigger name in the US than the UK, but we expect to see more of its products on British shores in the coming year.

Tencent Holdings

Finally, Tencent is maybe the least well-known brand in this list yet could be the most popular in its homeland. Its Tencent QQ app is, after all, the Chinese equivalent to WhatsApp, yet has significantly more active accounts - more than 650 million it is claimed.

Tencent is currently rated as the fifth largest internet company in the world, behind Google, Amazon, Alibaba and eBay and its market valuation was set at 1.041 trillion yuan (around £107 billion) in spring 2014 - it'll be worth a lot more now. Its 2015 success will depend on whether it tries to expand outside of China over the year. Some suggest it will.

Writing by Rik Henderson. Originally published on 31 December 2014.