CKGSB Knowledge - China Business and Economy

AFRICA CALLING

In the streets surrounding bustling Kariakoo Market in downtown Dar es Salaam, shoppers are ambushed by vast banners stretched across the slab concrete buildings. In red, white and blue, the advertising promotes the biggest-selling smartphones in town. These are not handsets from Apple, Samsung or even Huawei, but Tecno Mobile and Itel—two Chinese brands that are barely known outside of Africa but have risen to dominate the continent’s fast-growing market.

Tecno and Itel’s parent company, Transsion Holdings, is the dark horse of China’s tech sector. Though the company has a low profile in its home city of Shenzhen, the southern startup hub that is also home to Huawei, Transsion sold 130 million phones globally last year, just 23 million fewer than Huawei and nearly 40 million more than Xiaomi.

Transsion enjoys a market share of over 50% in Africa and is the top vendor for both feature phones—cheaper handsets with basic functions—and smartphones, overtaking Samsung in 2017.

The company’s success

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