Huawei will roll out a streaming music service and a mobile payments system in South Africa in the coming months, the Chinese electronics giant said on Tuesday.
Mosa Hlobelo, senior manager of business development for consumer cloud services at Huawei in South Arica, said the company plans to launch six consumer cloud-based offerings this year as it seeks to grow its market share in the sub-Saharan Africa region. The plan is to launch six new consumer services in South Africa in 2018, and then to roll these out to the rest of sub-Saharan Africa.
The six services are:
- App Gallery, Huawei’s app store. Globally, App Gallery has had more than 200bn downloads. “It’s one of the biggest services in China,” Hlobelo said. “We have 160m monthly users on average, which has increased 60% from 2016.” She said Huawei wants to work with local developers to showcase their apps on the platform. Apps are created and security-checked for malware, privacy leaks and other problems before being made available to consumers.
- Huawei Theme Store, which offers themes for users’ handsets. This service has 160m users worldwide who have collectively downloaded 368m themes. “We want to localise the content of this service. We have just kicked off a campaign to drive South African content in the theme store.”
- Huawei Music, a digital music streaming platform. This service has 32m daily active users in China, with 3.6bn songs played per month. The plan is for the service to be made up of 80% South African music at launch in 2018, with international music to be added later.
- HiCloud, a cloud storage platform. Among other things, HiCloud offers photo and other storage backup services and “find my phone” functionality.
- Screen Magazine, an advertising platform. “This gives local brands an opportunity to reach given the number of active users we have,” Hlobelo said. “It does not compromise the customer experience and does not compromise the aesthetic of the Huawei brand. We will be curating the content that goes onto the service.”
- Huawei Mobile Payment, a mobile payments platform. The plan is to expand coverage outside China to 60 countries (including South Africa) by June and to 100 countries by the end of the year. Hlobelo confirmed that local banks that Huawei is talking to with the hope of integrating the service include Nedbank and First National Bank.
“We have over 20 services worldwide, but will launch gradually in South Africa and make sure all our services are market-appropriate,” Hlobelo concluded. — © 2018 NewsCentral Media