Chinese mobile firm bets big in Kenya

Updated 2017-03-09 16:26:08

OPPO Electronics Corp, the Guangdong-based electronic manufacturer, is expanding its mobile phone business in Kenya as part of its global strategy to accelerate growth in various markets across the world.

OPPO registered a strong finish in 2016, growing 133 percent in the global smartphones market, according to the latest results from independent research firm IDC.

Consequently, the company accounted for 6.8 percent of the global smartphone market in 2016, and had four straight quarters of more than 100 percent year-on-year growth.

The smartphones maker, which is now ranked fourth globally in terms of sales, is seeking to replicate this success in Africa, particularly Kenya, which it says is one of its key markets in the continent.

Andrew Peng, the Chief Executive Officer, OPPO Kenya, said the company has been accelerating its global expansion since last year, extending its business to 26 countries. He said OPPO has established a marketing centre in Egypt to support expansions in Kenya, other African markets as well as the Middle East.

The OPPO mobile brand entered the Kenyan market last year, and has been making inroads in the highly competitive markets, riding on its highly-developed camera technology. The company expects to double its market share this year.

According to Communications Authority of Kenya (CA), mobile subscription in Kenya has hit 90 percent mark, with about 40 million Kenyans connected to mobile network.

"This presents a huge market for smartphones in Kenya and with the economy growing, we expect steady demand for phones across the various budget segments," said Peng.

OPPO is the number one smartphone brand in China with 16.8 percent market share, and the world's fourth best-selling smartphone brand, according to IDC, boosted by its premium, camera-centric phones.

The company has rapidly expanded globally with a presence in 28 global markets. In Southeast Asia, it has risen to number two over the past two years, according to IDC. In India, its share in the offline market rose from 1.2 percent in 2015 to 10.9 percent, as of December 2016, as reported by research firm GfK.

The company has focused on being a leader in mobile photography. "We are putting a stake in the ground in terms of technological breakthroughs for mobile photography," said Peng.

Top Five Smartphone Vendors, Worldwide Shipments, Market

and YEAR-OVER-Year Growth, 2016 Preliminary Data (Units in Millions)

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