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Samsung has shut down its last phone factory in China.

Kim Hong-Ji/Reuters

Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. has ended mobile telephone production in China, it said on Wednesday, hurt by intensifying competition from domestic rivals in the world’s biggest smartphone market.

The shutdown of Samsung’s last China phone factory comes months after it cut production at the plant in the southern city of Huizhou in June and suspended another factory late last year, underscoring gruelling competition in the country.

The South Korean firm’s share of the Chinese market shrunk to 1 per cent in the first quarter from around 15 per cent in mid-2013, as it lost out to fast-growing homegrown brands such as Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. and Xiaomi Corp., according to market research firm Counterpoint.

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Samsung, the world’s top smartphone maker, said it made a difficult decision in a bid to boost efficiency.

“The production equipment will be re-allocated to other global manufacturing sites, depending on our global production strategy based on market needs,” it said in a statement, without elaborating.

Samsung declined to specify the plant’s capacity and numbers of staff. The company has been expanding smartphone production in lower-cost countries, such as India and Vietnam, in recent years.

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