Chinese products have rapidly improved in quality and design, increasing competition among global makers. Huawei and other Chinese smartphones are gradually catching on among the Japanese, and finding ways to challenge local tech giants.
Some years ago, Japanese companies like Sony, Panasonic and Toshiba were considered premium brands. Now, over 50 percent of Japanese smartphone owners use Apple's iPhone, followed by the likes of Sony, Sharp and other Japanese manufacturers.
But Chinese brands are gradually raising awareness by word of mouth. Chinese smartphones made their way to the top of Japanese price comparison website Kakaku.com, surpassing Apple's iPhone and Sony's Xperia based on customer views.
In Tokyo, cutting down living expenses is crucial, since it is one of the most expensive cities in the world. Recently, many ordinary workers switched smartphones to Huawei from iPhone, in order to save money.
"Major Chinese companies are rapidly improving and gaining trust from consumers too. I don't hear criticism against 'Made in China' products at least from the people around me," said Daiki Beppu, a salesperson working in Tokyo.
Brands Huawei and ZTE became known to the Japanese when Japan unlocked SIM cards in 2014, allowing non-carrier firms to enter the mobile market to offer low-cost plans and handsets from global smartphone makers.
Japan's Rakuten Mobile is one of the budget smartphone carriers. Its Executive Officer Hiroto Ooka spoke highly of Chinese smartphones.
"We do have one device called Honor 8 from Huawei that we actually exclusively sell to the Japanese consumers. It's doing really well. It's one of the devices that introduced the double lens feature so it can take really beautiful pictures."
However, outside the smartphone sector, the home appliance market is still dominated by Japanese brands. But with higher tech quality of Chinese brands, the impression of cheap "Made in China" has already begun to change and may soon challenge Japan's tech giants.