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Samsung boss warns of Chinese tech spending slow down

Kim Young-ha is worried, but stats tell a different story

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Samsung’s head honcho in China is reportedly worried that domestic spending on technology products in the People’s Republic is slowing down, fears which if realised could have a significant knock-on effect for the global economy.

Samsung Electronics China CEO, Kim Young-ha, told the FT that the domestic tech market would likely grow by just seven per cent in 2012.

“It is a concern. The situation is not ideal,” he told the paper. “The Chinese government has been implementing austerity measures targeted at the real estate market and that has had an impact [on spending].”

Kim also apparently pointed to poor TV sales during the usually bumper Golden Week holiday at the beginning of May as evidence of a slow down in consumer spending.

The report argues that given Samsung’s broad product portfolio, it should be well placed to offer an accurate assessment of the health of the tech sector.

Whether this is a rather clumsy attempt to urge the government to tone down its austerity measures remains to be seen, but figures from elsewhere seem to paint a rather more optimistic picture of tech spending in China.

IDC figures released last week, for example, reckoned the country would see a surge in consumer tech spending this year of 29.8 per cent, driven by strong demand for smartphones and tablets, with the PRC set to become the biggest IT spender in Asia next year, blowing a massive $173bn (£110bn).

IHS iSuppli, meanwhile, predicted PC sales would jump 13 per cent this year in China.

Even Kim admitted in the report that Samsung’s revenue growth in China this year would hit between 30 and 40 per cent. ®

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