RABAT – Chinese mobile phone brands enjoy a ubiquitous presence in Morocco through user-friendly service initiatives and high-tech products sold at affordable prices.
Companies like Huawei have a competitive advantage in the market, said Adhere Cavince, a researcher on China-Africa cooperation.
“Huawei has been at the heart of technological reforms and modernization of the information technology sector in Africa for almost three decades,” Cavince explained.
In Morocco, Huawei is the third telephone operator, after Samsung and Apple, with a market share of more than 15%, according to local statistics.
Vivo, a Chinese mobile phone brand that entered Morocco in July 2019, has become a rising star in the North African country. In just two years, Vivo mobile phones have obtained 5 to 10 percent of Morocco’s market share, Wei Wenting, a representative of the Moroccan branch of Vivo, told Xinhua.
Wei said the most popular Vivo cell phones are the ones that sell for around $ 170.
For Jasper, a Dutch expat living in Rabat, the Moroccan capital, Chinese technology has become a crucial part of his life.
“As a student or as a business creator, you often don’t have the money for big luxury brands like Apple,” he said.
“I started out by buying little Chinese tech products that weren’t that expensive… eventually, I would buy the latest Chinese phone model when they came out, being totally convinced that you would get a great product at the price that would be at the top. minus half of what you would pay for similar technology from a brand like Samsung or Apple, ”he said.
Henry Tugendhat, a policy analyst, said that in addition to price and function, Chinese mobile phones are competitive in terms of hiring and training local staff and local marketing.
Vivo said that for two days a month, the company’s three service centers offer customers accessories like screen protectors and phone cases, and the ability to have their phones repaired, all free of charge.
Huawei has proposed similar initiatives in Morocco. In early 2020, with the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic, Huawei launched an online store offering free shipping, extended customer maintenance, and after-sales service to customers’ homes.
In 2021, it partnered with the Moroccan Ministry of Education to provide free tablets to students living in rural areas.
Cavince said Huawei has been equally proactive in training young tech talent in Africa. The company launched its “Huawei ICT Academy 2.0” initiative in 2020, which has seen more than 50,000 information and communication technology professionals trained in Morocco alone.
The company also helped set up videoconferencing solutions for the Moroccan government to facilitate weekly government meetings, and helped health authorities implement artificial intelligence-based technology for the diagnosis of COVID-19 .