Huawei to build Africa ware­house

China Daily (USA) - - BUSINESS - By MA SI masi@chi­

Huawei Tech­nolo­gies Co Ltd, the world’s third-largest smart­phone maker, will build its first ded­i­cated ware­house for Africa in Jo­han­nes­burg, in its lat­est move to meet the ris­ing de­mand from lo­cal con­sumers.

Zhao Likun, vice-pres­i­dent of Huawei Con­sumer Busi­ness Group South Africa, said the ware­house in South Africa will greatly shorten the time needed to de­liver hand­sets and im­prove cus­tomer sat­is­fac­tion.

Huawei is see­ing rapid and con­tin­ued growth in South Africa, with its smart­phone mar­ket share now reach­ing al­most 10 per­cent, Zhao added.

Cur­rently, it takes around three weeks to de­liver Huawei’s stock from China to South African re­tail stores. Once the new ware­house, lo­cated in the free trade zone of OR Tambo In­ter­na­tional Air­port, is com­pleted, the process will be short­ened to three days.

Huawei said it is cur­rently fi­nal­iz­ing con­struc­tion specifics, and did not dis­close details as to the ware­house’s stor­age ca­pac­ity.

The move came as the Chinese tele­com gi­ant is step­ping up its push to ex­plore over­seas mar­kets, aim­ing to out­com­pete Ap­ple Inc and Sam­sung Elec­tron­ics Co Ltd in the in­ter­na­tional arena.

With its mid­dle-range to high-end smart­phones gain­ing wide pop­u­lar­ity, Huawei said in June that it aims to ship nearly 200 million smart­phones this year, close to its arch ri­val Ap­ple Inc’s 200 million to 210 million an­nual ship­ment. In com­par­i­son, it shipped 153 million units last year

Mar­ket re­search com­pany In­ter­na­tional Data Corp said in a re­search note that “Huawei has toed the line be­tween main­tain­ing a strong do­mes­tic po­si­tion while slowly up­scal­ing its brand im­age in in­ter­na­tional mar­kets with div­i­dends pay­ing off.”

Dur­ing the first quar­ter of 2018, the Shen­zhen-based com­pany shipped 39.3 million smart­phones world­wide, with its global mar­ket share hit­ting a new high of 11.8 per­cent. In com­par­i­son, Ap­ple shipped 52.2 million smart­phones, ac­count­ing for 15.6 per­cent, data from IDC show.

Huawei’s do­mes­tic peers such as Xiaomi Corp, Oppo and Vivo are also scram­bling to ex­pand over­seas pres­ence, to make up for the slow­ing do­mes­tic mar­ket.

In May, Xiaomi opened its first store in Paris, af­ter it marched into Spain. In the first quar­ter of this year, Xiaomi saw more than 999 per­cent of growth in Europe, ac­cord­ing to data from mar­ket re­search firm Canalys.

Wang Xi, a se­nior an­a­lyst at IDC China, said: “Cur­rently, Chinese smart­phone ven­dors are still at a stage of re­ly­ing on cost-ef­fec­tive­ness to gain mar­ket share in for­eign coun­tries. In the fu­ture, more ef­forts are needed to lead lo­cal in­no­va­tion, main­tain strate­gic pa­tience, and in­crease lo­cal users’ loy­alty.”


Two tech­ni­cians at Huawei Tech­nolo­gies Co Ltd‘s OpenLab in Jo­han­nes­burg, South Africa.

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