Kyocera announced January 30 that it is pulling out of the Chinese mobile handset market. In 2001 Kyocera and Zhenhua Technology (000733.SZ) formed a joint venture, Kyocera Zhenhua Communication Equipment, to manufacture and sell mobile phones in China.
The joint venture's products focused on high-end camera and music phones, but competition from cheaper handsets meant poor sales. Attempts to rescue the situation with the launch of low-end phones failed due to the use of 3G standards - only 100,000 were sold in 2007.
At the end of March Kyocera will transfer its shares in the joint venture to Zhenhua and another Hong Kong-based firm at no cost, and also waive rights to RMB 57.6 mln in debts. Kyocera will then concentrate on the North American market.