Jumia and Xiaomi partner to drive smartphone penetration in Africa

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Last updated on May 21st, 2019 at 11:41 am

Jumia and Xiaomi partner to drive smartphone penetration in Africa
Romain Christodoulou (left), Senior Vice President, Jumia Group Wang Xiang, Senior Vice President, Xiaomi Corporation

Jumia has announced a partnership with Chinese smartphone maker, Xiaomi. After Xiaomi announced a move to target the African market earlier this year, they have now followed it up with a giant and concrete technique.

What you should understand is that this partnership marks the official launch of Xiaomi in Sub Saharan Africa with Jumia, giving unique access to Xiaomi products to millions of customers. Xiaomi plans to have its first Nairobi office this year, although I have already seen something that looks more like a Xiaomi office in Lagos, Nigeria.

xiaomi office in Lagos
Xiaomi building sited in Lagos, Nigeria

The brand is going head-to-head with Chinese rivals in Africa. That includes Transsion Holdings, the makers of the popular Tecno, Infinix and Itel brands. And Jumia is helping them with their first steps.

“This partnership is very important for us, as it will definitely foster the smartphone adoption in Africa. As well as support e-commerce penetration. Xiaomi and Jumia have very similar internet DNA and will serve a common purpose: delivering the best in class affordable smartphones along with the best shopping experience. This will be very beneficial for both companies and above all for the consumers in Africa.” – reads a statement from Jumia Group’s senior vice president Romain Christodoulou.

However, this partnership will initially cover Nigeria, Egypt, Kenya, Ivory Coast, Morocco, and Ghana, and aim to cover all other countries where Jumia operates. Most markets will be directly supplied from China, confirming the fast expansion of intercontinental trade in Africa.

Interestingly, Africa has seen the rise of affordable entry-level devices from price-focused brands especially from China, which remains a key driver of smartphone adoption in the continent. Smartphone penetration in Africa stood at approximately 36% in 2018, with the number expected to reach about 66% by 2025.

Just so you know, Xiaomi is not entirely new to Africa and its devices have been sold on the continent since 2015. But much of these have been through partners and no direct market exposure. But the decision to partner with Jumia proves to be tactical and the best route seemingly. Most importantly, it saves the company marketing efforts that it would have had to do on its own.

Yet, it still has a lot of work and would still need a strong offline and online campaign to market its devices across the continent and Nigeria to be precise, that’s why I have created this site – MiHUB NG for everything you need to know as regards the brand and Xiaomi’s emergence in Nigeria.

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