Most suppliers in China brag that they use CREE LED'S The Chinese know that if they want to sell to the international market they must use the best stuff out there. The street light market is booming world wide and now with CREE'S own line of competitivly priced streetlights, its nothing but blue skys from here! Buying more today!
Nichia is doing well because of much higher pricing for LEDs in Japan. That high pricing is a direct result of the March 11, 2011 Tsunami which so damaged the national power system. The damage is both physical and political as much of the nuclear generation is still off line. The cost of electric power in Japan is much higher than in the US. Thirty to forty cents/KWH is typical. The Japanese are actively reducing demand in any way they can including installing LED lighting.
Nichia has a very large position in Japan. Protectionism both in law and due to a strong "Buy Japanese" bias helps Nichia's position.
I think Cree's quality will result in its gaining position in Japan. Nichia will not likely be a strong competitor outside of Japan because of competitive pricing.