A new report from research firm Canalys confirms that in February 2020 Xiaomi overtook Huawei to become the world's third-largest smartphone vendor, and the world's largest smart wearable device brand.

Huawei has suffered in recent months thanks to an ongoing dispute over whether or not it can continue to use Google services globally and operate in the US. Only last week it announced its new flagship Huawei P40 and Watch GT 2e, but it is struggling to stay relevant in the face of adversity.

Meanwhile, Xiaomi has continued to pull the punches, and in the past few weeks we've seen some fantastic updates to both its budget and flagship lines with Redmi Note 9S and Mi 10. Its Mi Band 4 is also one of the best value fitness trackers we've tested.

The company's commitment to providing high-quality consumer tech at low prices, never taking more than 5% profit, is paying off as Xiaomi continues its climb up the smartphone market ladder.

Vendor Gobal shipments in 2019 Global shipments in Jan 2020 Global shipments in Feb 2020
Samsung 295.1m 20.1m 18.2m
Apple 197.4m 16.0m 10.2m
Xiaomi 124.8m 10.0m 6.0m
Huawei 240.5m 12.2m 5.5m
Oppo 115.1m 8.1m 4.0m
Vivo 106.5m 7.3m 3.6m

Despite this cause for celebration for Xiaomi, it's notable from the above table that all Chinese smartphone vendors have suffered in early 2020 from the pandemic we are currently living through.

Xiaomi had previously seen a very strong performance in 2019, with total revenue of £23bn up 17.7% on 2018, and a net profit of £1.3bn, up 34.8% year on year. Around £10bn of this revenue came from overseas, with Xiaomi now holding a presence in more than 90 countries - and in half these territories it sits in the top five for smartphone shipments.

The company says it is now recovering from the impact of COVID-19, with production back up to 80-90% of its normal levels. Though many of its high-street Mi stores were closed during the outbreak, it continued to see strong sales through online channels.

Further reading: Best Xiaomi phones you can buy in the UK

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