Huawei is the world's third largest smartphone supplier and its China-based compatriot ZTE is No.5, reports IDC.
Huawei doubled its smartphone shipments to 10.8m units in Q4, says IDC, taking a 4.9% world market share.
ZTE is not far behind Huawei shipping 9.5 million units for a market share of 4.3% and fifth place in the league table.
The success of the two China-based companies was because they went up-market, increased screen size and developed innovative applications, says IDC. Huawei has a 6 inch model called Ascend Mate.
Samsung continued at No.1 with 63.7 million smartphones and a market share of 29% (up from 22.5% in Q4 2011).
No.2 was Apple with 47.8 million phones shipped for a market share of 21.8% (down from 23% in Q4 2011).
Splitting the two Chinese companies by taking the fourth slot in the league table was Sony with 9.8 million units shipped and a market share of 4.5% (up from 6.3 million units and 3.9% share in Q4 2011).
Also-rans were LG, RIM and Nokia .
220 million smartphones were shipped in Q4 and 712 million smartphones in 2012. For all types of phones nearly half a billion phones - 482 million - were shipped in Q4 and 1.7 billion in 2012.