The biggest player on the smartphone market in Africa is a company most Europeans have never heard of
A solid design and low prices have been the strengths that have helped the Chinese company Transsion Holdings fight the Samsung giant and become the number one smartphone manufacturer, depending on sales, on the African continent. Now, the company is preparing to conquer India.
Over the past eight years in Ethiopia, Yu Weiguo, the head of Transition Holdings, has succeeded in transforming an obscure company, the Tecno Mobile smartphone owner, the leading smart phone manufacturer in Africa. With sales of over 200 million units on the black continent, he chose Addis Abeba, the capital of Ethiopia, as a construction site for a 26,000-square-foot factory. The unit should have produced up to 2 million phones per month; but the plans of the company were affected by the political regime
The ruling coalition in Ethiopia declared a state of emergency in mid-February 2018 following the resignation of Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, accusing a destabilization of the autocratic regime. For the smartphone manufacturer, the incident was a lesson in terms of risks. "There are many things that can not be controlled in Africa," said Yu Weiguo for Bloomberg Businessweek. "Sometimes plans are overhead," he added.
Yu does not believe that political tensions will affect the company in the long run, arguing that Transsion brings the Internet close to people and thus helps economic development: "Political stability is an extremely important issue, but we will continue to invest and trust the fact that the factory was operating at full capacity by August. "
Jean-Pierre Cabestan, author of the book "Friendship between Tanzania and China in the Age of Multipolarity," thinks Transsion should be more concerned about the political scene. "The Chinese government and companies in general are only interested in those in power. No one wants to talk to opposition parties, and that could be a problem at a certain moment, "he draws attention.