Chinese telecoms giant Huawei isn’t wasting time trying to convince American consumers to switch to its devices as the company shifts its focus to Africa.
The company has been under pressure in both the US and Australia over accusations that its devices are specifically engineered with digital back doors to allow entry to Chinese hackers.
“It’s a pity for America and Australia. It’s a loss for the consumers there because Huawei has amazing network solutions and devices,” Huawei managing director for the Device Business Group Peter Hu told Fin24.
Reports have emerged that Huawei as well as Chinese politicians were the target of US agency spying in a programme dubbed ‘Shotgiant’, despite the narrative that the US and its companies are consistent victims of espionage.
However, Huawei and Hisense are both Chinese companies that have recently made Africa and South Africa specifically, a focus of expansion.
“Hisense is a very good and reputable company in the world and I think the US accusation is groundless. There is nothing that Huawei is doing that the US says. Totally ungrounded,” Liang Shugen, Consul-General for the People’s Republic of China in Cape Town said recently of the US allegations.
Huawei recently introduced its new Mate 7 with dual SIM technology clearly targeted at developing markets though in SA, dual SIM has not gained the traction it experiences in other African countries.
“Africa is one of the most important and valuable markets if you look at Huawei globally. This year in Africa and the Middle East, Huawei’s smartphone market share is number two,” said Hu.
Hu remains bullish about the prospects for the company’s expansion into the region.
“If you look at East Africa, this year we shipped close to three million pieces and next year we want to double this figure.”
According to the GSMA’s The Mobile Economy Sub-Saharan Africa 2014 report, the region has the fastest mobile growth rate in terms of unique subscribers.
The report reveals that there were 329 million unique subscribers in the region – or a penetration rate of 39% – with half a billion subscribers expected by 2020.
Huawei has launched a Windows-powered device and Hu said that the electronic giant was nimble enough to offer consumers options.
“We are more open and welcome more challenges of the future and the most important idea is to give consumers more options.”