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.