By Baek Byung-yeul
Korea is losing its global market share in major industrial products as China is rapidly catching up in highly advanced technology under its ambitious "Made in China 2025" plan.
Korean companies placed first in seven industrial categories last year, unchanged from 2016, while Chinese firms were ranked first in nine categories, one more than in 2016, according to a survey by the Nihon Keizai Shimbun, Tuesday. It also revealed a heavy reliance on Samsung Electronics which was the leader in five categories.
The Japanese financial newspaper conducted a global market share survey of 71 product and service categories in 2017. The survey revealed U.S.-based companies displayed competitiveness in holding the tops spots in 24 categories, two more than in the previous year, followed by Japan which led in 10. Switzerland placed fifth, leading in five.
The survey showed only the U.S. and China saw their companies become market leaders in more categories last year, compared with the previous year, while corporations from other big economies struggled to maintain their positions.
Among the seven categories in which Korean companies placed first, Samsung Electronics was the leader in smartphones, NAND flash and DRAM chips, flat-screen TVs and small and mid-sized OLED panels. Hyundai Heavy Industries led the shipbuilding category while LG Display was No. 1 in large-sized LCD panels.
While Korea struggled to retain its position, the survey revealed a glimpse into China's goal of becoming a technology powerhouse.
China, which has been dominant in home appliances such as air conditioners, washing machines and refrigerators, is now shifting to highly-advanced technology.
Huawei Technologies became the leader in mobile communications infrastructure, beating Sweden's Eriscsson. In smartphones, in which Samsung retained its lead, three Chinese companies including Huawei, Oppo and Xiami are catching up fast to the No.2 Apple. The combined market share of the three Chinese firms was 24.3 percent, larger than that of Samsung's market share of 21.6 percent.
Chinese firms also showed their strength in security cameras. Hangzhou Hikvision Digital Technology and Dahua Technology were No. 1 and No. 2, respectively and the two took a market share of 40 percent.
The U.S. also added five more items to the list, compared with the previous year. Hewlett-Packard overtook China's Lenovo Group for the first time in five years in personal computers.
The U.S. was also strong in health care, which demands high costs for research and development. U.S. companies led in prescription drugs, generic drugs and medical equipment.