The pronunciation of the name Huawei may play tricks on many Africans, but never its products and services. Earlier this week, Huawei announced a 40% increase in revenues for the first half of this year which translates to 245.5 billion Yuan ($37 billion) compared to last year’s 175.6 billion Yuan.
And with these latest revelations, we ask ourselves whether Huawei and China’s decision to invest in Africa is starting to pay off.
Huawei, a communications and technology company from China employs over 10,000 Africans and has invested millions in terms of dollars and technological infrastructure to the continent. In 2015, the company shipped over 108 million smartphones to Africa, not to mention the hundreds of meters of fiber optic cables that were laid among other internet supporting technology.
Credited for building 70% of Africa’s commercial 4G networks, today it is hard to encounter an ICT (Information and Communications Technology) supported organization or household in Africa that doesn’t use (directly or indirectly) Huawei technology. It could be a modem, a phone, a router and if not, one’s Internet Service Provider (ISP) maybe using Huawei technology.
Throughout the years, Huawei has been able to tap Africa’s virgin market in as far as ICT is concerned. Many Africans are now using social media, and are incorporating ICT into their lives and work setup. That is why I didn’t have to travel miles just to get this article to an editor nor did I use a typewriter.
African schools are not only conducting lessons on computers and other gadgets but have introduced the study of ICT as a subject or course unit. And amidst all these developments, Huawei managed to jump at the opportunity.
The company has provided a cheaper option to Africans in comparison to Apple and Samsung products, especially in the field of smartphones. The continent now boasts the fastest growing rate of mobile subscriptions in the world, with annual smartphone sales expected to reach 120 million by 2020.
The increased sale of smartphones to Africa has contributed to cementing Huawei’s position as the third biggest smartphone maker in the world behind Samsung and Apple, a gap it continues to close as represented by the company’s surging revenues.