[THE INVESTOR] Samsung Electronics is set to release its flagship smartphone Galaxy S8 in China this week, a delayed launch since the phone hit the key markets such as Korea and the US in April, industry sources said on May 17.
Sources said the Korean tech giant will hold a showcase event for the Galaxy S8 and the bigger-screen Galaxy S8 Plus in China on May 18. The official release is presumed to be slated for May 25.
Samsung is planning to offer Chinese language service for the Bixby artificial intelligence program by next month.
Industry watchers say, however, Samsung may face hurdles in promoting the latest phone in China as the company’s brand reputation was tarnished by the withdrawal of the fire-prone Galaxy Note 7 last year.
The ongoing diplomatic tensions between Seoul and Beijing over the US-made THAAD missile system is also expected to have an adverse impact on the phone sales at least during the earlier days of the launch.
Samsung, the world’s largest smartphone maker, owned a tiny 3.3 percent of the Chinese market in the first quarter this year largely due to intense competition with its Chinese rivals.
By Alex Lee and newswires (firstname.lastname@example.org)