Firm says 23m sold in Greater China in nine months for 30pc share of market Mobile-phone giant Nokia said handset sales in Greater China grew a hefty 77 per cent year on year to 23 million units in the nine months to September, reinforcing its market share lead and a commitment to expand business in the region. 'For the combined mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan markets, we now have an estimated device market share of well over 30 per cent,' Nokia chairman and chief executive Jorma Ollila said at a conference hosted by the Finnish company. 'We will build on this tremendous strength to further grow our research and development, investment, market position and innovation capabilities in China.' In what could be his valedictory address on the mainland as head of the world's largest maker of mobile phones, Mr Ollila said Nokia's sales in Greater China exceeded US$3.3 billion in the first nine months of the year and its exports from the mainland in the same period reached US$2.3 billion to bring 'substantial contribution to the Chinese economy'. Mr Ollila, who has held the top job at Nokia for 13 years, will leave the company after 20 years to take over as non-executive chairman at Royal Dutch/Shell from June. He said his appointed successor as chief executive at Nokia, Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo, 'understands very well what's going on in China' and will take a keen interest in further developing the market. The mainland is the industry's fastest-growing cellular-phone market with 380 million subscribers and Nokia's second-biggest market after the United States. 'We believe that by 2010, China will have added another 250 million mobile subscribers, making it the single largest mobile market in the world,' Mr Ollila said. He noted that Nokia had been a leading investor on the mainland for more than 20 years with total investments of more than US$2.2 billion. It counts almost 6,000 staff and has helped create more than 30,000 jobs on the mainland via related local industries, with manufacturing and research partners, material suppliers and logistics services providers. More than 50 per cent of components used by Nokia are sourced from mainland suppliers.