What You Should Know Before Importing Phones from China?
April 2nd, 2021
Are you planning to import phones from China?
Do you want to become a distributor of a mobile phone brand in China?
Smartphones are considered one of the best products to import from China. According to statistics, by 2030, about 1/4 of the world’s population will have phones in their hand. Chinese phone brands are providing huge value at the best price compared to western phone brands.
It is very important that you should learn about which best phone brands to import from China, what things you should be careful of before shipping the phones, what kind of certificates are required for customs clearance. Any issue with any of these requirements will result in a big loss for your business.
This blog will talk about why you should import phones from China, which are the best phone brands in China, the difference between importing from mainland China and Hong Kong as well as tips to buy the best phones for your business.
Chapter 1: Why you should import phones from China
1. Biggest manufacturing center for Mobile Phones
China has implemented reforms that consist of state-of-the-art machinery, allowing developers to make modernized products.
Consider this example that Apple “The king of smartphones” is getting its phones manufactured from China. Similarly, giants like Huawei, Xiaomi, One plus, OPPO and VIVO are also the brainchild of China.
There are hundreds of factories producing millions of phones every year. Due to the large volume, the price is very reasonable as compared to other international brands. Also, there are many factories only producing parts for mobile phones, which also allow China to manufacture new models with new features every year.
2. the first country to introduce 5G
As mentioned, the state-of-the-art technology implementation of China has also enabled the country to develop and test 5G technology. Back in 2019, China successfully deployed 5G carriers across multiple states.
This implementation also allowed smartphone companies to integrate 5G-enabled networks in the phones. China is the first country to produce 5G enable mobile phones.
If you are looking to buy mobile phones that support 5G, which very few countries are producing currently, then China is the number 1 choice for importers to buy such phones.
3. Competitive price compared to International Brands
Tons of smartphone manufacturers are operating from China. That means, there is a battle of competitive pricing.
The advantage of this battle is importers can get an optimum quote for a single phone unit. This allows them to get higher profit margins and good quality phones. Plus, buying phones from China in bulk also enables a lower cap.
4. World’s Biggest market for Phones parts and Accessories – Shenzhen
Like there is a demand for phones in the international market, there is also a demand for phones part. The parts include screens, speaker modules, battery, and whatnot.
There are also third-party suppliers available for phone parts. That title goes the Shenzhen city which is a hub for the electronics market. So from China, not only you can buy the phones but also their parts which are used later on in repairs and warranty claims.
Also, when you buy a brand new phone, you will always need to buy its accessories too. For example the back cover, screen protectors, hands-free, etc.
All of these are available in bulk to buy from China because China is also the biggest producer of mobile accessories. So we can say that China is your one-stop-shop for all your needs for a mobile phone.
5. Efficient delivery network to ship phones all around the world.
Another advantage of importing phones from China is efficient delivery. China has developed static relations with other countries that allow it to trade without any major restrictions.
That makes it easy for manufacturers to send phones all over the world. Also having a large number of ports and some of the biggest ports in the world, China is able to ship the goods at economical pricing and also provide reachability to all the major ports of the world.
Chapter 2: Best 10 Phones Manufacturers/Brands in China
1. HUAWEI Phones Company
Huawei is the main reason why importers are diverting their attention towards Chinese phones. The company developed its first relations to the rest of the world and gain popularity due to the fact that it is providing state-of-the-art phones at a competitive price. Not only phones, but it is also a sole developer of the 5G technology.
Plus, it is also in the wireless networking sector. Phones like Mate 10 Pro and P series are widely known among users. As for contact information, here is how to do that Manufacturers Address: Huawei Base Bantian Longgang District Shenzhen, 518129 China
2. XIAOMI Phones Company
Xiaomi has gained the title of “favorite smartphone” in the Indian market. In fact, in 2019, the company sold about 1 million smartphones in India. About the Spanish market, the company was able to secure almost 66.6 percent of the total phone sales in the region.
The reason for this much sales is the integration of improved RAM and outstanding camera. The latest phone Xiaomi Mi 10 series has changed the smartphone industry. The company contact information is available below.
Manufacturers Address: Rainbow City Office Building 68 Qinghe Middle St Haidian Beijing, 100085 China
3. OPPO Phones Company
OPPO is another sister company that is owned by BBK electronics. OPPO came into the foundation in 2003 and since then it is providing modernized electronics.
The company jumped into the smartphone industry and due to its OPPO F1 series, it gained a lot of popularity among middle-class users.
If you are planning to import OPPO phones, here is how you can contact the manufacturers in China
Manufacturers Address: 18 Haibin Road Wusha Changan Town Dong Guan, 523860 China
4. VIVO Phones Company
Another smartphone company that is owned by BBK electronics is VIVO. VIVO tends to target customers that are looking for phones that are packed with state-of-the-art features yet offer a low price.
Phones like VIVO Y20, VIVO V17/pro, and VIVO X50 are some of the models that are popular among android users. Here is how to contact and reach the company. Manufacturers Address: 283 Wusha Bubugao Avenue Chang’an Town Dongguan, 523000 China
5. MEIZU Phones Company
Meizu is not a popular phone brand but it offers specs that are amazing compared to other smartphones. The company was founded back in 2003 and in 2009, it started targeting users who were looking for low-priced phones.
Meizu 18 is the latest phone released by the company and it has outstanding features that are suited for all kinds of people. Manufacturers Address: MEIZU Tech Bldg., Technology & Innovation Coast Zhuhai, 519085, Guangdong, China
6. ONEPLUS Phones Company
Oneplus was founded by Carl Pei and Pete Lau back in 2013 and is owned by BBK Electronics. The company specialized in making flagship phones. And it gained attention because of the rule of “Getting an invitation to buy the phone”.
The reason for Oneplus popularity was because of the fast UI and improved processor. Since then, it is dominating the market of phones.
Here is how you can contact the official supplier in China.
Manufacturer’s address: Tairan Building, Futian District, Shenzhen, Guangdong, China
7. REALME Phones Company
Realme was founded by Sky Li, former vice president of OPPO. The company is now owned by BBK electronics and is targeting the mid-low-priced market. The manufacturer provides amazing smartphones that are packed with optimum features and perks.
Series like Realme C, Realme 5, and the 6 series are some of the products that the company owns. And now, it has also jumped into the smartwatch market. Manufacturers Address: Qianwan First Road, Qianhai, Shenzhen-Hongkong Cooperation Zone, Shenzhen
8. TECHNO Phones Company
Techno mobile, owned by Transsion Holdings, is dominating the African and South Asian markets with the help of user-friendly budgeted phones. They are headquartered in Shenzhen China and were founded in 2006.
Famous phones like Techno POVA and CAMON 16 are some of the choices if you are looking to import a phone from China. Manufacturers Address: ROOMS 05-15, 13A/F., SOUTH TOWER, WORLD FINANCE CENTRE, HARBOUR CITY, HongKong
9. LENOVO Phones Company
Lenovo is known for its laptops and now due to the multi-core processors, the company is also gaining attention in the mobile phone sector. The brand is a perfect option if you are looking for something that is relatively cheap to import.
Lenovo has transformed their laptop fans into buying smartphones from them. They are providing good specifications in a low price in the market. Manufacturers Address: Building 2, No.10. Courtyard Xibeiwang East Road. Haidian District. 100094 Beijing, China
10. ZTE Phones Company
Zhongxing Telecommunication Equipment Corporation is a Chinese multinational telecommunications equipment and systems company that is the world’s fourth-largest mobile phone manufacturer.
The company has made several Android smartphones and tablets. Some of the top phones of ZTE are the ZTE Axon 11, ZTE Axon 11 SE, ZTE V2020 5G, ZTE Black X1 5G. Manufacturers Address: No. 55, Hi-tech Road South, Shenzhen, P.R.China
Chapter 3: Should I Import Phones from Hong Kong or Mainland China (What is the difference?)
1. Import phones from Hong Kong
Freeport allows exemption of taxes
A free port is a place where items that are in transit are exempted from customs duty and Hong Kong is a free port.
The advantage of the city having a free port is there is no customs duty if the goods arrive to that port into the free trade zone. That further helps in getting a lower value as customs duty increases the price of an item.
Lower Tax outside of the free port
Companies working in Hongkong enjoy the privilege of lower or no tax. That is because, the capital gains, dividends, and interest is completely tax-free. Plus, the addition of free port also enables importers to diminish the customs and duties. That is being because there is no wealth or estate tax in the region.
The manufacturing factories are set up in the mainland China since the rent and real estate cost is cheaper there compared to Hong Kong. However, once the phones are produced, they are sent to Hong Kong.
Once the goods enter the area of Hong Kong, they are considered as export goods, and the Chinese government will provide tax rebate. Tax rebate is the amount of tax given back to the exporter by the government.
So many exporters will already reduce this tax rebate amount from the price of the mobile phone when they ship it to Hong Kong. That is the reason that in Hong Kong the price of phones is cheaper compared to Mainland China.
The global version of phones are available (English packing and language)
The last thing that contributes to the import of phones from Hongkong is you can get your hands on global versions of the phone. Basically, if you try to import phones from mainland China, you will get phones in the Chinese language. For instance, the packaging language will be in Chinese.
All global variants of phones are imported from Hongkong and have the default language is English.
Also, many apps which are blocked in mainland China, e.g. like Google Play Store, Gmail, Facebook, etc., will come preinstalled in the global versions which are sold through Hong Kong only. You cannot get the global version of the mobile phone from mainland China.
2. Import phones from Mainland China
Biggest Exporter of phone parts
Just like Hong Kong is the paradise to import phones from. Mainland China is the paradise for phone parts and accessories. Let’s see why buying phone parts from mainland China is your best choice.
Shenzhen is the city that delivers this perk and is the biggest electronic market. There in (Huaqiangbei Wholesale Market), you can get your hands on phone parts such as camera modules, speakers, processors, LCD screens, and all replacement parts. If you are into this business then Mainland is the preference over Hongkong
Accessories suppliers available in Bulk
Secondly, Shenzhen and Guangzhou (Mainland China) are also known for smartphone accessories. For instance, if you want to import phone covers, headphones, touch pens, earphones, and other phone accessories, then these areas are for you.
The next chapter will discuss in detail the markets for phones, their parts, and also the accessories. If you come to China, you must visit these markets to find new accessories to import.
Chapter 4: Best 5 China Wholesale Markets for Phones, Parts and Accessories
This chapter will focus on the wholesale markets in China. We will introduce the markets, their locations, what kind of products they have, and the locations of these markets. If you visit China, you must visit these wholesale markets. Because you will find all the products related to mobile phones under one roof.
1. Huaqiangbei Commercial District – Shenzhen
Huaqiangbei Commercial District is located in Futian District, Shenzhen City, Guangdong Province. It has more than 40 factories. The Huaqiang North Road is 930 meters from north to south and 1,560 meters from east to west.
The total area of the commercial area is about 1.45 square kilometers. With economic development, the regional functions of Huaqiangbei have changed, and Huaqiangbei has gradually become China’s largest electronics market.
There is a building named Yuanwang Digital Mall, which is located at 2006 Huaqiang North Road, where you can buy wholesale mobile phones in the 2nd and 3rd floor.
One of the famous second-hand mobile phone wholesale markets in Huaqiangbei is called the Feiyang market. The first floor of the market mainly deals with disassembled accessories, and the third and fourth floors mainly deal with mobile phones and tablets.
Address: Huaqiangbei, Futian District, Shenzhen City, Guangdong Province
2. Shengxian Dashatou Second Hand Trade Market – Guangzhou
Dashatou is located in Yuexiu District, Guangzhou City, where there are full of second-hand mobile phone shops, both domestic and foreign brands. It is called as Guangzhou’s largest second-hand mobile phone storage place, but the high-quality products and low-quality ones are mixed together there.
It is best to have two or three people in the same group so that you can be foolproof when picking goods.
Address: 31 Luyin Road, Dashatou, Yuexiu District, Guangzhou City, Guangdong Province
3. Guangzhou President Digital City
Guangzhou President Digital City is located in the most prosperous area of Tianhe Computer Business District. The mall covers an area of nearly 10,000 square meters.
The President Digital City focuses on differentiated and characteristic operations, advocates the consumption concept of leisure shopping. You will find mobile phones and digital accessories mainly on the 2nd and the 3rd floor.
Address: President Hotel, 586 Tianhe Road, Tianhe District, Guangzhou City, Guangdong Province
4. Guangzhou Xidi Electronics, Digital and Mobile Market
Guangzhou Dexing Xidi Electronic City is a large-scale professional wholesale market, located on Xidi 2nd Road, which is crowded with people in Guangzhou.
It mainly deals in the wholesale of all kinds of brand-name mobile phones, mobile phone accessories, fixed phones, etc. It is mobile phone accessories and mobile phone decorations. Wholesale market.
Address: No.1-3 Dexing Road, Liwan District, Guangzhou City, Guangdong Province
5. Nan Fang Building International Electronics and Digital City – Guangzhou
Nan Fang Building International Electronics and Digital City is located in the country’s largest professional market for mobile phones and communication accessories.
Brand mobile phones and mobile phone stores are concentrated on the first floor, the second and third floors mainly sell internal and external accessories of mobile phones and other electronic accessories.
6. New Asia Electronic Wholesale Market – Guangzhou
Shenzhen New Asia Electronic Wholesale Market is located in the Huaqiangbei business district of Shenzhen, the central area of the Chinese electronics market.
The mall has a planned area of 80,000 square meters. It is currently the largest, highest-grade, and most complete electronic component trading and procurement center in China.
Relying on advanced business philosophy, unique operation mode, international resource integration, and market positioning as a professional platform for branded electronic components trading and procurement.
Address: New Asia Electronic Wholesale Market, Zhenzhong Road, Futian District, Shenzhen
Chapter 5: Best 5 Wholesale Phones and Parts Distributors in China
1. Ananda International Industrial Limited
Ananda International Industrial Limited is operating for almost 10 years and is a gold supplier on Alibaba. The firm specializes in new and refurbished phones and is playing an important role in the Chinese mobile industry. The company is also a pioneer in trading knowledge and that will help you in getting the phones in your country.
Skyrise Telecom Group was registered in 2009 and since then it is providing its services. The company specializes in items like new smartphones, phone accessories, and used mobiles. It is dealing in famous brands like Apple, Oneplus, VIVO, and OPPO.
Address: No. 5 13th Floor. Kinox Centre No. 9, Hong To Road, Kwun Tong, HK
3. Xiamen Sosenkai Trading Co., Ltd.
Xiamen Sosenkai Trading Co., Ltd is a subsidiary of HT group that specializes in mechanical and electronic parts. As for electronic items, mainly it is dealing in phones, laptops and smartwatches, and speakers. They provide genuine parts of mobile phone brands like Oneplus, Xiaomi, Huawei. They are distributed phones of Lenovo and ZTE but their mobile parts business is much bigger than phones.
Address: Shantou, Guangdong, China
4. SZ USED CO., LIMITED
SZ USED CO is solely dealing with new as well as refurbished smartphones. The company was founded in 2012 and from that time it is providing its services in mobile phone industries.
Other than that, it is also dealing in phone parts such as LCDs, cables, batteries, and microphones. This distributor is one shop solution for mobiles and its parts and is a great choice for you as an importer.
Address: Room 608, 6/F, Building 101, Shangbu Industrial Zone, Futian District, Shenzhen, Guangdong, China
5. Shenzhen Keyou Technology Co., Ltd
The last distributor to contact when importing phones from China is Shenzhen Keyou Technology. The company is dealing with various smartphone brands. Plus, it also provides next-gen smartphone accessories like wrist bands, chargers, and earphones. It has a complete and scientific quality management system.
Address: City Shanhai Center, 11 Zhongxing Road, Bantian Street, Shenzhen, Guangdong, China 518000
Chapter 6: What to remember when shipping phones from China
1. choose a box with protective foam or cushion
The first tip to remember is to make sure that you are packing the phone inside a box with cushion material to avoid any breakage of the body.
Phones are expensive products therefore packaging has to do with huge care. This will help in preventing the screen from getting cracked when it is shipping. Plus, it will also save the phone from any scratches.
2. Safely pack phones with electromagnetic rays diffuser
Mobile phones are usually shipped using Air shipping method. That is because there is a huge demand for it and customers want their phone as soon as possible. Electronics of any kind emit electromagnetic waves that can cause interference with the plane’s electronics and that can result in disaster.
So, make sure you are wrapping an EM wave diffuser in the carton which consists of many mobile phone boxes. This will stop the EM waves.
3. Don’t pack the batteries separately
The phone acts as a ground for the battery and it completes the circuit of current flowing in the battery. That prevents any heat dissipation and saves batteries from exploding. So, place the batteries in the phone and then pack them together. You cannot ship the mobile phones by Air if you pack the batteries separately.
Chapter 7: Certificates and Regulations to follow when importing products from China (US and EU)
The United States and the European Union and many other countries require certain certifications and regulations when you are importing phones from China.
These certifications are necessary when you are buying phones from China. Please check with the customs of your country about the related certificates. Each country has different requirements.
1. Regulations and Certifications required in the USA
Intentional Radiators (FCC part 15)
This FFC regulation is diverted towards those electronic devices that emit radio energy. The devices that come under this regulation are those that contain WIFI networks, Bluetooth modules, and radio modules. In the US, it is important to get this FFC.
Unintentional Radiators (FFC part 15)
Unintentional radiators are defined as “any electrical device “operating at over 9000 pulses per second (9 kHz) and using digital techniques“. To make you understand this FFC regulation, the devices that come under this category are that have USB ports (Type A, B, and C)
CA Prop 65
CA Prop 65 is for importers whose buyers are in California. Basically, the CA prop lies to over 800 items. As for phones, items like phone covers, earphones, phone holders, screen protectors come under this category. Make sure you have this if you are from California.
Certification or Supplier’s Declaration of Conformity (SDoC)
Certification or Supplier’s Declaration of Conformity (SDoC) is a document that certifies that you as a manufacturer or supplier of the product are declaring a product that meets US requirements. It is an important piece of paper so make sure you have this.
UL is a certification that certifies your product according to different standards. Even if you have an FFC certification, you still need to get your hands on UL.
2. Regulations and Certifications required in EU
The first certification that is required by the EU is RoHS certification. Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) allows a maximum of 6 substances to be present in the phone. These are Lead, Mercury, Cadmium, Chromium, PBB & PBDE.
2. LVD certification
Low Voltage Directive or LVD does not comply with any technical standards that must meet. Products that comply with LVD are marked with CE and are allowed in the EU region.
3. REACH certification
Most of the importers haven’t heard about REACH. REACH certification is basically an advancement to RoHS that regulates more substances and chemicals. If you don’t have REACH, you can provide the test result of the substances present in the phones.
4. CE certification
CE marking is important if you trying to get your items in Europe. It basically confirms that your product is made according to EU standards.
5. Gepruefte Sicherheit (GS) certificate
Gepruefte Sicherheit (GS) is a quality seal that is given by a third-party laboratory. It is not necessary to get this verification. But, if you have this, you can get the trust of the customers in Europe.
Chapter 8: What specs to look at When buying phones from China?
Now that you have an idea about “Things to know to import phones from China”, let’s talk about what to look for when buying phones from China. The perfect website to compare phones and looks dimensions of a phone are “What are the length, width, and height of the phone”.
For example, OnePlus 6T comes at dimensions of 157.5 x 74.8 x 8.2 mmecs is GSMarena.com. EJET has provided a similar table to GSMArena, along with a description of what each parameter is.
Dimensions of a phone are “What are the length, width, and height of the phone”. For example, OnePlus 6T comes at dimensions of 157.5 x 74.8 x 8.2 mm
Weight is the total mass of the phone. As an example for Oneplus 6T, it is 185g
In the GSMArena, you will encounter a term called build. The build is basically the material of which the phone’s front and back is made of
Sim section defines whether the phone supports a single sim or contains a dual sim body. Go for a Dual Sim body
This section in the website is the size of the screen, whether it is optic AMOLED or LCD and what kind of protection is used in the phone’s screen.
If Android, it will show you the latest version of Android it has.
IOS enabled phone will show the iOS version the upgradable version that it can support
In simple words, ROM is defined as the storage in the phone. Phones like Oneplus come with 128GB or 256GB variant. Take a higher quantity of storage or choose according to your preference.
RAM is the memory that is used by the apps and functions. For example, Oneplus phones usually come with 6-8GB of ram.
Front camera is an essential feature nowadays. A lot of people are using apps like Snapchat and are using video call features. An optimum phone has a 12MP of front camera or more. So consider buying that.
Similarly, a back camera is also important. Nowadays there are phones with 3 to 4 back cameras and supporting anywhere from 48MP to 108MP as well.
In GSMArena, you will see the communication ports section. The first one here is WLAN. WLAN is also known as Wifi. Nowadays, Wifi comes on every phone.
Like Wifi, Bluetooth is also important. It helps in connection to music systems, smartwatches, and earphones. Now, every phone has a Bluetooth feature. So, it will come with any device you are importing.
GPS is used for the location of the device. Phones like iPhone, Samsung Galaxy series, One Plus, and many more have this feature. It is not that important, but, if it is there, that is an advantage.
In EU or US, NFC is important. That is because it helps in saving time when doing tasks like locking the door or turning the light. But many people don’t use this option. Wifi does all that work. If it is not present in the phone you are importing, there is no harm.
The color scheme is in what colors the phone is released.
What power of sound does the speaker emit. For example, iPhone 12 Pro max gives sounds at the power of -23.8 LUFS
Usually, the sensors are gyroscope, screen sensor. barometer, temperature sensor, etc.
Chapter 9: Tips and Tricks when buying phones from China
1. Always buy from official distributors
Smartphones are expensive items. So, one cannot afford to get scammed in this category. Always buy from well-known vendors and distributors. We have provided a list of verified wholesale distributors and vendors that will help you in getting a good phone.
Also, you can directly contact the phone brands through their website and asked them who is their official distributor in China from whom you can import the phones.
2. Research about the device you want to buy
Always research the device that you are going to buy. For instance, Oneplus 6T comes with 8GB/12GB RAM and has 128GB/256GB storage. Like this makes sure that you have your data and can compare the specs with the ones your vendor is offering.
Pay by secure payment methods
As mentioned, smartphones are expensive items. So, make sure that you are paying by secure payment methods. These methods can be PayPal or T/T. Make sure to have proper contracts in place before making the payments. Alibaba trade assurance is also a great option to make the payments.
Use a shipping method that you can afford
Smartphones are usually shipped by Air shipping. But, Air shipping also has some options that will help you in saving money. For instance, don’t use express shipping methods. That can cost you more money. Instead, hire a professional air freight forwarder who can provide you the best price for Air Cargo.
Chapter 10: FAQs about Importing phones from China
1. What documents are required when importing phones from China?
These 6 documents are usually required when importing phones from China.
Import declaration form
Certificate of conformity
Bill of Lading
Certifications required for Phones by Importing country
2. Are phones cheaper in China?
Yes. The reason why the big brand companies choose China as a manufacturing base for mobile phones is mainly due to lower costs connected with China’s rapidly growing tech infrastructure plus manufacturing capacity. These make the per-unit costs of modern smartphones cheaper than if they were made in the West.
3. Are there any cellphones sellers who dropship phones from China?
Yes, there are different cellphones sellers who will provide drop shipping but these will be the Chinese version phones and not the Global version. One of the best cellphone drop-shippers from China is China brands. The drop shipper deals in items like smartphones, phone parts, accessories, and other items related to phone industry.
4. Which is the most economical shipping method when importing phones from China?
The most economical method when importing phones from China is sea freight. But the drawback to this is that it will result in a lot of delays. Phones are expensive products and consumers do not like to wait long, so most phones are shipped through Air.
However, even in Air shipment, it depends on your freight forwarders and his connections with the Airlines that he can provide you the best possible rates or not.
So try to find a sourcing agent who is in the business for long time and can provide you with the most economical rates for air freight.
Yes, the business of smartphones can be a hectic and challenging task. That is because there are multiple documents required by the US and EU authorities and other countries. You must know all the specifications of the mobile phones before buying.
But, on the brighter side, it can give you a lot of profits. Importing phones from China is a perfect solution since all the major brands manufacture the phones in China.
We hope that you got a lot of new information from this blog and are now more confident to import phones from China. We wish you successful buying from China.