It was a busy news year in South Africa’s technology industry, with demand for reliable and quality news and analysis about the local ICT sector clearly evidenced in TechCentral’s readership growth.
Not only did the publication grow its readership — measured using unique visitors — by over 60% compared to 2018, but by the end of the year it had established itself as the biggest business-to-business technology news website in the country, surpassing the longstanding incumbent. Only one other technology news website is bigger, but it’s focused on the retail consumer segment.
“It was a significant achievement in the same year that TechCentral celebrated its 10th anniversary,” said editor Duncan McLeod. “We expect to build on this strong performance in 2020.”
Here is a look back, then, at the 10 biggest stories — measured by total article reads — of what was a landmark year:
TechCentral’s best-read article in 2019, published on 11 February, dealt with Microsoft’s decision to terminate two partner agreements with JSE-listed EOH Holdings.
A week later, TechCentral published this expose into why Microsoft had terminated the agreements. We reported exclusively that it did so after an anonymous whistle-blower filed a complaint with the US Securities & Exchange Commission about alleged malfeasance involving a South African department of defence software procurement deal. EOH’s share price collapsed.
In October, Telkom launched new Sim-only mobile data plans for “on-the-go customers” that dramatically undercut the prices charged by its rivals.
In January, Microsoft announced that its longstanding MD Zoaib Hoosen had resigned as MD of its South African subsidiary and that he would be replaced by Lillian Barnard.
This article explained the changes Telkom introduced when it shifted its roaming partner from MTN South Africa to Vodacom and how customers would be affected by the move.
Apple’s Chinese smartphone shipments plummeted an estimated 20% in 2018’s final quarter, underscoring the scale of the iPhone maker’s retreat in the world’s largest mobile device arena against local rivals like Huawei. This article was published months before the US government began its concerted crackdown on Huawei.
This column, by Hilton Tarrant, republished from our news partner Moneyweb, explained why Takealot’s decision to launch new pickup points around the country was a smart move by the online retailer.
MultiChoice felt the heat from consumers during the opening game of the 2019 Rugby World Cup after its DStv Now streaming service collapsed, leaving many of them unable to view the game. The broadcaster subsequently fixed the problems and the final reportedly went off without a hitch.
In November, First National Bank provided more insight into its controversial decision to give notice to cryptocurrency trading platforms in South Africa that it would shut their bank accounts.
German software giant SAP and EOH affiliate company Twenty Third Century Systems were accused of bribery to secure a multimillion-dollar software contract in Tanzania. — (c) 2020 NewsCentral Media