Re: It's not the phones
Yes, because they compete with each other. Silicon Valley prefers monopolies or at least cartels otherwise the valuations don't make sense.
Your other criticisms are not without merit. But this isn't about the complexity of the technology but of the value proposition to the user. The Chinese companies really are streets ahead there.
As for data protection: well, it's China isn't it? The state always has access to all your data.