TCL Mobile CES 2022

Exclusive: TCL Mobile Business Moves From Wow To Woe, After New Chinese Management Takes Over – channelNews

TCL Communications also operating as TCT Mobile has seen its smartphone business plunge in Australia, after Chinese management took over in December 2020 when the company was in third place behind Samsung and Apple.

According to financial data obtained by ChannelNews, sales in the mobile operator fell by 60% in 2021, which is also unprofitable, after the appointment of a new management team to restructure the business in Australia, after dumping the Alcatel brand, and the exit of Sam. Skontos who has successfully increased its Chinese corporate market share during the 12 years of running the business in Australia.

Questions are now being asked about the long term, viability of the company in Australia, where parent company TCT Mobile International Limited is already providing $2.5 million in business loans.


Credit: TCL

After the exit of Sam Skontos along with several other senior executives, including Paul Lakkis, Director of Sales, and Arnaud Abad, Director of Technical Support who joined Skontos in a new distribution company, TCL, appointed Michael Kwok as General Manager of Oceania.

She is also appointed to Fei Xin, who has been appointed Deputy General Manager of TCL Communications, and is also responsible for sales under the new structure.

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Fay Zin, Deputy General Manager of TCL Mobile Australia Operations

Prior to joining TCL, Shen spent six months working as a sales executive at Optus and prior to that she worked for Huawei, which closed its Australian operations due to poor sales in Australia.

TCL has also hired another Huawei executive with Josef Corrente taking over as Channel Director and Marketing Director for TCL Communication Australia,

In December 2020, TCL Mobile generated $21.5 million in revenue, which fell to $13.3 million in December 2021 even though several brands including Apple, Samsung, and Motorola reported increased sales during 2021.

Third-place Motorola doubled its sales at the expense of TCL in 2021.

TCL also reported a loss for the year of $139,000 against a profit of $240,000 in 2020.

The decline in sales occurred despite a $1.69 million increase in advertising and sponsorship which included a football sponsorship engine via the Optus streaming network.

Advertising costs rose from $562,569 to $1.7 million despite a 60% decline in sales.

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Credit: TCL

The company also failed to explain how travel and accommodation costs would double during COVID lockdowns in 2021 versus 2020 when people were allowed to travel.

Prior to 2020, the company had sold over 700,000 Alcatel mobile phones in Australia primarily via carriers. That ended after TCL who had acquired the brand license decided that it wanted to increase sales of TCL-branded cell phones versus the Alcatel brand.

The Blackberry brand was also dropped with TCL Communications dropping the license globally for both smartphone brands.

This led the US-banned ZTE to do business with carriers.

Among carriers Telstra, Optus, and Vodafone, only Vodafone is listing the TCL 20 Pro 5G for $11.07 per month.

In Australia, TCL operates as TCT Mobile (Australasia) Pty Ltd, TCL Communications is a brand name only and its main business partner is Harvey Norman who has four TCL smartphones.

The company recently launched a new tablet, and they haven’t said when the next generation of smart glasses will be launched in Australia.

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