Established players such as electronics giant Lenovo and mobile infrastructure titan Huawei are continuing to invest in expanding their products into the U.S. Meanwhile upstart handset group Xiaomi has opened an international online store to sell its low-cost accessories and said smartphones would follow in the future. In April, Chinese video streaming site LeTV – known as the "Netflix of China" – launched a smartphone that said would come to the U.S. within a year.
The success of Xiaomi in China – estimated to be worth $45 billion following a recent round of funding – was due to its tactic of selling high-spec budget devices, a strategy followed by all of the Chinese smartphone makers. Two of the top five vendors in the world are Chinese, showing the dominance they are now commanding.
"The home market is now not as good as it was, so the chance to make higher margins in other markets is attractive," Ben Wood, chief of research at CCS Insight, told CNBC by phone.
But the strategy and level of recognition the brands had in China might not mean success as they move west.