Is Windows Phone starting to give the iPhone a run for its money in China? Microsoft thinks so.

Making its debut among Chinese consumers just two months ago, Windows Phone has already picked up a market share of 7 percent, according to Microsoft. That’s a tad higher than the 6 percent share owned by Apple’s iPhone.

And Michel van der Bel, Microsoft’s Chief Operating Officer for the Greater China Region, sees the market growing further, according to online business magazine Emerce (English translation).

“We’ve only just begun,” Bel said, noting that the combination of smartphones and Windows PC tablets will help Microsoft gain further traction among both Chinese individuals and businesses. Such a strategy will come in handy due to the increasing consumerization of IT, he added.

But the company faces a uphill battle, Bel admitted. Android currently dominates China with a market share of around 69 percent. And Windows Phone is still far behind in the app arena compared with Google’s mobile OS.
Microsoft currently employs around 2,500 people in its R&D department in China, but Bel says the company needs to and will invest more heavily in the country.

Windows Phone has received a shot in the arm in certain parts of the world, thanks to Nokia’s Lumia handsets.

The Lumia 900 has proven to be a hot commodity in the United States but has seen more sluggish demand in other countries, notably the U.K.