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6 Facts we wish clients knew about the 'Phone Refurbishing' industry in China.

par AHSPremier sur May 19, 2022

The electronics refurbishing industry in China has changed dramatically and is now better organised, quality-focused, and technologically advanced making it a go-to-destination for sourcing refurbished phones.

More than 95% of the refurbished phones sold globally move through China. Daily hundreds of thousands of used & pre-owned phones arrive here where they are tested, refurbished, and exported to fulfill the insatiable demand of global consumers.
Despite being a global production base for all top mobile phone brands, it’s true that in the past, the electronics industry in China has suffered from a poor perception—and some of this has rubbed off on refurbished phones. B2B Buyers still have a hard time trusting a refurbished phone provided by Chinese suppliers owing to concerns around overall quality, data security & transaction safety.
But the electronics refurbishing industry in China has changed dramatically and is now better organized, quality-focused, and technologically advanced making it a go-to-destination for sourcing refurbished phones.



Modern, automated facilities

The refurbishing facilities concentrated in and around Shenzhen are more advanced than many buyers realize. The image of phone refurbishing as a laborious manual task, requiring armies of low-paid workers is just not accurate.


Here, companies have invested heavily in production-line technology, so much of the process of sorting, processing, and grading phones is performed automatically & under the supervision of highly trained workers. This means greater efficiency, more reliable products, and better value for buyers and consumers.



Highly developed supply chain .

The concentration of refurbishing facilities in the region has led to a highly developed, consistent, and reliable supply chain, which procures phones from around the globe, including via official buyback and recycling agreements with OEMs in the US, UK, and EU markets.


The scale of operations means that stock is essentially available on-demand. Supply lines are so resilient, and processing so efficient that buying specific models, or even particular variants of a given model, is no more complicated than ordering from the manufacturer. 



Competitive pricing

The combination of a high volume, highly reliable supply chain, and advanced refurbishing facilities using automation to drive ever more efficient processing, means that China, and in particular the cluster of refurbishing facilities based in Shenzhen, can offer extremely competitive pricing on even the most in-demand handsets.
It’s important for dealers and retailers alike to understand that this is only possible through the economies of scale involved, and the longstanding business relationships between refurbishers, suppliers, and OEMs—the low cost doesn’t reflect a lower quality of product, rather, it is a sign of how highly efficient the industry functions here.



Security and privacy

Another commonly held belief is that purchasing refurbished phones from China brings with it a risk in terms of security—whether that’s personal data left on phones or data theft during the refurbishing process. The reality couldn’t be further from the truth—the facilities around Shenzhen take data protection extremely seriously.
All phones undergo a professional data erasure process as part of the refurbishment, with multiple overwrites to ensure no data is retrievable. With much of the refurbishing process automated there’s little scope for individuals to access anything they shouldn’t, and in any case, employees are trained in the relevant data privacy regulations.



Exceptional quality

The high turnover of handsets in many Asian markets, where consumers prefer to upgrade their phone every 12 months or less, results in a predictable supply of lightly used devices that require minimal refurbishment. Coupled with buyback programs from OEMs, this means that most procured devices meet high standards of quality even before processing.
Add in the highly automated facilities, combined with expert quality assurance processes, checks, and balances and you can see why Chinese refurbished phones are in such demand. The end product is extremely reliable, consistent in quality, and, from a consumer point of view, almost indistinguishable from brand new products.



Local knowledge

As a Hong Kong-based business, at AHS Premier we benefit from close ties with the facilities in Shenzhen-- we’re less than 30km away. Our decade-long expertise in this business and a longstanding business relationship with other major suppliers, allow us to guarantee the availability of even the most in-demand models from top-grade, verified suppliers.
Our team facilitates the entire transaction from selecting the right models for your market needs to ensuring on-time delivery and providing easy returns.
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