How Tecno dislodged Samsung, Apple, other heavyweights to take over African market

Posted by News Express | 14 October 2018 | 859 times

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One of China's biggest smartphone makers has never sold a handset in the country. Yet thousands of miles away, it dominates markets across Africa. Unknown in the West, Transsion has left global players like Samsung and Apple trailing in its wake in a continent that's home to more than a billion people.

In cities like Lagos, Nairobi and Addis Ababa, busy streets are awash with the bright blue shopfronts of Transsion's flagship brand, Tecno. In China, the company doesn't have a single store, and its towering headquarters in the southern megacity of Shenzhen goes largely unnoticed among skyscrapers bearing the names of more famous Chinese tech firms.

The company took a different path to success from other top Chinese smartphone makers such as Huawei and Xiaomi, which started out in China before eventually expanding overseas.
Transsion built its business in Africa. And it has no plans to come home.

The perfect selfie

In Edna Mall on the bustling Bole Road in Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia, Mesert Baru poses for her Tecno Camon i. "This phone is seriously nice for selfies," says the 35-year-old shop assistant, admiring the picture she just took.

Mesert's satisfaction is no accident. Tecno cameras have been optimized for African complexions, explains Arif Chowdhury, vice president of Transsion. "Our cameras adjust more light for darker skin, so the photograph is more beautiful," he says. "That's one of the reasons we've become successful."

Transsion founder George Zhu had spent nearly a decade traveling Africa as head of sales for another mobile phone company when he realized that selling Africans handsets made for developed markets was the wrong approach.

His timing could hardly have been better. By the mid-2000s, the Chinese government, under its "Going Out" strategy, was encouraging entrepreneurs to look abroad and forge stronger ties with African nations in particular. Cell phones were spreading rapidly in China, but in Africa — which has a roughly similar population — they were still a very rare luxury. (CNN)


Source: News Express

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