Africa’s phone phenom: Your guide to Transsion

After spending the early 2000s globe-trotting for the overseas business arm of Chinese mobile phone maker Ningbo Bird, Transsion founder Zhu Zhaojiang broke out on his own. He opened Transsion’s first office in Lagos in 2008, and setting his sights on Sub-Saharan Africa, planned to sell millions of phones catering to the African market.

“In the past, firms that did business in Africa and South Asia did not spend too much on research and development (R&D), but in fact, emerging markets require more R&D efforts,” Zhu told Global Times, China’s state-owned national daily.

More than a decade later, Transsion operates three brands from its headquarters in Shenzhen in China: Infinix, Itel, and Tecno. Collectively, they represent the bestselling mobile phones on the African continent — on both basic so-called feature phones and smartphones. Transsion recorded over 40% of smartphone sales in Africa in the last quarter of 2019, according to research firm IDC. For the past three years, Transsion has led Africa in market share.

China and Africa go way back, read more.