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When 23-year-old Chinese student Aaron Huang started his hunt for an Android replacement for his App

'Battle Mode' Huawei sees China smartphone sales surge

Promotional campaigns by Huawei Technologies Co Ltd and from local retailers supporting the brand were everywhere, said Huang, adding he was influenced by domestic media coverage that portrayed the United States as unfairly targeting the Chinese tech giant in its trade war.

“I felt like I should choose Huawei,” he said.

The advertising blitz and grassroots patriotism have proven to be a potent mix, amplifying the brand’s existing broad appeal in its home market - a market it is increasingly dependent on as Washington’s ban on sales of U.S. components and software to Huawei hammers overseas demand.

Second-quarter China smartphone shipments for Huawei surged by a nearly a third from the same period a year earlier, with its market share rocketing 10.6 percentage points to a record 38 percent, according to research firm Canalys. Shipments for domestic rivals and Apple Inc (AAPL.O) plummeted.

Huawei has lifted its China sales target for its consumer business group, said a company source, who was not authorized to speak on the matter and declined to be identified.

Within Huawei, employees refer to current strategies as “Battle Mode” and it has stepped up the opening of new stores including “Experience Centers” in the style of Apple shops, other company sources said. One Experience Center near its South China headquarters opened last month while a bigger one in Shenzhen’s tech district of Nanshan will open next month.

Analysts say Huawei has also been transferring unsold smartphone stock from other regions to China and even offering some rare discounting in its home and overseas markets as it seeks to offset sales declines in Europe and the United States.

Huawei declined to comment on its strategies for marketing and managing inventories, or its China sales target. It reiterated an earlier statement that it was not trying to trade on patriotic fervor.

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