Category Archives: China

Chinese investments in African tech will transform the fintech landscape

A recent article brought to my attention this report on the pattern of funding experienced by fintech startups in East Africa and India with rather damning results. 90 percent of the capital invested by “Silicon Valley-style” investors went to startups, technically in East Africa, with one or more North American or European founders. These results […]

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Will the global trade war lead to more sustainable (and local) consumer products?

In a study titled “Competing In the Age of Multi-Localism”, ATKearney said mounting trade tariffs and other pressures have upended the global strategy – think mass-market production and achieving economies of scale – that has been a business hallmark since the early 1990s. “It’s no longer a viable strategy for many companies,” the study said. […]

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Designed in China, Made in Africa.

In Ethiopia, Transsion Holdings, a Chinese company, is manufacturing handsets costing as little as $10 in an industrial park outside Addis Ababa. Mobile phone models from Tecno, Infinix, and Itel brands, which all belong to Transsion, to be Made in Africa. Almost 13 years ago, in December of 2005, I wrote my first column for […]

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One (last) word: Plastics

A UN report issued on World Environment day  showed dozens of nations acting to cut plastic, including a ban on plastic bags in Kenya, on styrofoam in Sri Lanka and the use of biodegradable bags in China. via There’s a backlash against plastics that is ongoing in many not so noticed parts of the world […]

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Tecno and Nokia: The tale of two brands

Chinese mobile maker’s original brand strategy succeeds in Africa: Transsion’s Tecno This year, Nokia got shoved out of the top 10 most admired brands in Africa list, not bad for a company that had lost its way in emerging markets 7 or 8 years ago. As an old (in all senses of the word) Nokia […]

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The comparative global impact of Alibaba vs. Amazon

Alibaba Business School and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) brought 29 young entrepreneurs from 11 countries across Africa to the Alibaba campus in Hangzhou, China for the third eFounders Fellowship cohort. Chinese corporate soft power influence is production driven, not consumption focused. Alibaba, the e-commerce giant with digital payment tentacles, has […]

Also posted in Africa, Business Models, Commerce en ligne (e-commerce), Ecosystem, Emerging Markets, Innovation Planning, Marchés africains, Marketing, Mobile platform, Perspective, Platforms, Retail in Africa, Strategy, Sub Saharan Africa, Systems, Technology, Value | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Strategic Entry of China’s Transsion into the Vacuum Left by Nokia in Africa

If you’re outside Africa, you’ve never heard of them before, but a mobile phone brand called Tecno has been painting Kenya blue ever since I started fulltime fieldwork there in late 2011. It was in Mombasa that I first noticed the name and wondered what it was about. Over the years, I saw the line […]

Also posted in Africa, African Consumer Market, Afrique francophone, Business, Commerce en ligne (e-commerce), Consumer Behaviour, Design, Emerging Markets, Innovation Planning, Marchés africains, Marketing, Mobile platform, Perspective, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Retail in Africa, Strategy, Sub Saharan Africa, Technology, Value | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

India’s Hidden Middle Class and the MNC Conundrum

The Economist writes a rather breathless take on a theme very popular just over a decade ago – the Great Indian Middle Class so longingly hoped and wished for still hadn’t emerged to satisfy the consumption habits preferred by the global multinational brands. Where were they, the article shrilly asked, unquestioningly promoting China’s middle class […]

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Trading economics: a new theoretical system

From the Financial Times, a snippet from a guest post by Wang Zhenying, director-general of the research and statistics department at the PBoC’s Shanghai head office and vice chairman of the Shanghai Financial Studies Association, summarising the arguments in his new Chinese-language textbook on economics. “Trading economics” is one new theory emerging against this backdrop. […]

Also posted in Analysis, Assumption filter, Base of the Pyramid, Biashara Economics, Business Models, Consumer Behaviour, Economy, Ecosystem, Emerging Markets, Frameworks, Informal & Flexible, Marchés africains, Platforms, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Report Review, Research, Systems, UCSD, Value | Tagged , , , | 1 Response

A Unique Path to Development Seen for the Informal Economy

Just recently I stumbled over this slim book < 60 pages that analyzed existing data sources in order to frame an answer to the research question they posed: How did the informal economy―markets and the private sector―develop in the absence of legal and administrative frameworks to support it? Some of the most intriguing insights extracted […]

Also posted in Assumption filter, Base of the Pyramid, Biashara Economics, Business Models, Cashless transactions, Economy, Ecosystem, Emerging Markets, Flexibility, Frugality, global, Income, Informal & Flexible, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Produits de grande consommation (FMCG), Report Review, Research, rural, Rural Economy, Savings, Scarcity, Strategy, Systems, UCSD, Value | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment