Huawei Enters Remittances Industry, Strengthens Chinese Position in Africa’s Financial Sector

On July 11, Huawei announced a part­ner­ship with British mon­ey-trans­fer oper­a­tor Worl­dRemit to enable inter­na­tion­al mon­ey trans­fers for Huawei users across Africa.  The link-up expands China’s grow­ing pres­ence in the African finan­cial sys­tem into the per­son­al finan­cial ser­vices space.  Ear­li­er this week, the Indus­tri­al and Com­mer­cial Bank of Chi­na signed an $8.5 bil­lion agree­ment with South Africa’s Stan­dard Bank to pro­vide loans and for­eign exchange ser­vices to Chi­nese busi­ness­es in Africa.

The Huawei-Worl­dRemit part­ner­ship will allow users of Huawei’s exist­ing bank­ing ser­vices to send remit­tances back home.  The announce­ment comes as mobile finan­cial ser­vices play an increas­ing­ly impor­tant role in the African econ­o­my.  The Voda­fone-Safari­com ser­vice M‑Pesa leads the way in pro­vid­ing access to finance in a region where tra­di­tion­al bank accounts can be dif­fi­cult.  Huawei sold approx­i­mate­ly 10 mil­lion hand­sets across Africa last year.