The stakes are huge. Data from research firm IDC showed that in 2015 global shipments of smartphones were up 10.1 percent to 1.43 billion units, with companies from the mainland increasingly showing their heft.
Three Chinese companies, Huawei, Lenovo, and Xiaomi, showed up in the list of the world's top five global smartphone makers by volumes. Apple and Samsung make up the rest.
Chinese companies have a slew of advantages over their more fancied rivals.
These include a big domestic market in China, access to a well-established ecosystem to drive down manufacturing cost, and improved research and development capacity to offer better user experience, according to Linda Sui, director for wireless smartphone strategies at Strategy Analytics.
For example, manufacturer Oppo's new battery can fully charge a smartphone in 15 minutes.
Sui told CNBC's "The Rundown", "All the Chinese players combined did play an increasing role in the global smartphone market [last year]."