Africa-Focused Chinese Handset Maker to Roll Out Smart TVs

28 February 2019


China's Transsion Holdings, the leading smartphone maker for the African continent, will expand into smart televisions through its Infinix brand, Yicai Global has learned.

Transsion aims to replicate the success of fellow Chinese consumer electronics firm Xiaomi in overseas markets such as India, an insider at the Shenzhen-based firm said. Transsion has not responded to the claims so far.

The move is part of efforts to exploit new revenue streams amid plateauing business performance in recent years, said an industry insider, adding that Infinix has set up an e-commerce platform XMall for the continent as well as a team to develop TVs.

Founded in 2006, Transsion runs brands including Tecno, Itel, Infinix and Oraimo, and has offices in Nigeria, Rwanda, Burundi, Guinea, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda as well as a factory in Ethiopia.

The company set up its first African branch in Nigeria in 2008 and sold 46 million, 50 million, 81 million, and 120 million handsets in 2014 to 2017, respectively, thanks to its cost-effectiveness and it currently enjoys a 45 percent market share in Africa.

Transsion already released traditional TVs, produced by KTC and TCL Corporation, under the Synix brand in Africa last year.

China and the world's other smartphone markets are facing growing pressure for new growth paths, said Zhang Bing, research director at research agency HIS China, adding that Xiaomi has already set out on a similar journey for diversification.

Transsion possesses advantages in sales channels in Africa, said Sun Yanbiao, head of Mobile No. 1 Research Institute, adding that Transsion stores in Africa sell speakers, earphones, light-emitting diode lighting products as well as mobile phones, so it is possible for the firm to sell smart TVs in the future.

The company developed its own instant messaging software may use a similar technique for its smart TVs in the future. The firm's existing after-sale brand and system in Africa can also support the new business.

Transsion may face fierce competition, Zhang Bing added. Japanese and South Korean firms such as Samsung Group, LG Group, Sony and Panasonic have been present in the African color TV market for years, and China's Hisense runs a factory in South Africa. China's Skyworth Group also took over a TV plant in the country a few years ago too.

Source: YiCai Global