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HarmonyOS: Apple, Google to Lose Emerging Markets



  • HarmonyOS: Apple, Google to Lose Emerging Markets

Following US sanctions that prohibited American companies from dealing with Chinese companies –including Google, Android manufacturer –Huawei, the world’s second-largest smartphone manufacturer, has now launched its own operating system, HongmengOS.

Richard Yu, the CEO of the consumer division, Huawei, said the operating system –the HongmengOS, known as HarmonyOS in English can work across different devices from smartphones to smart speakers and even small sensors.

According to Yu, HarmonyOS is part of Huawei Internet of Things–connecting more internet devices.

The company plans to first implement the new operating system on “smart screen products” later this year and gradually roll it out on other devices over the next three years.

HarmonyOS will first launch in China before Huawei push it to other emerging markets.

The new operating system is expected to further Chinese companies’ reach in emerging markets where they already have the largest smartphone market share ahead of Samsung and Apple.

China’s major smartphone brands, Huawei, OPPO, Vivo, Xiaomi, and Realme (HOVXR), have combined global market share of 42 percent in the second quarter of 2019 despite the sanctions.

In the same quarter, Samsung shipped 76.6 million units, up 7.1 percent from 71.5 million units shipped in the second quarter of 2018.

Huawei came second with 56.7 million, 4.6 percent higher than 54.2 million shipped a year ago. Apple came third with 36.4 million, down by 11.9 percent from 41.3 million shipped a year ago.

Xiaomi, OPPO, Vivo, Lenovo, and Realme exported 32.3 million, 29 million, 27 million, 9.5 million and 4.7 million, up 0.9 percent, -2 percent, 2.1 percent, 6 percent and 848 percent.

Chinese companies exported mainly to emerging markets using competitive pricing strategy to penetrate the largely untapped low-income markets. However, because all these companies use Android operating system, they are expected to switch to HarmonyOS if the US-China failed to reach a trade agreement.

According to Varun Mishra, Research Analyst at Counterpoint Research, “Heavy marketing, faster portfolio refresh, high spec devices at aggressive prices, and multi-channel presence are some of the key reasons why Chinese brands fared better than the local and global OEMs. These brands have been aggressively expanding outside China and achieving growth offsetting the saturation in their home market. Their strategies and product portfolios are more aligned to the local needs and preferences, which is one of their key strengths.”

Prior to the launching of HarmonyOS, experts projected a further decline in Huawei smartphone shipment due to the US sanctions but with the company announcing HarmonyOS and planning to make it an open-source to drive apps development and broaden it adaptability to more devices, Chinese smartphone companies are poised to capture more emerging markets going forward or the US would be forced to pull back and allow Android to continue servicing existing Chinese users after the expiration of 90 days grace period.

Yu said making HarmonyOS open-source could help the OS scale and attract a large number of useful apps.

He said, without mentioning any name, “many” app developers “have strong interest” in using HarmonyOS.

He added that he thinks Apple’s iOS and Android don’t cater for enough internet devices, therefore, the companies plan to throw open HarmonyOS for faster growth.

Again, a lot of American developers looking to break into China, over 1.3 billion market and other emerging economies, will jump on the opportunity, giving HarmonyOS access to some of the world’s best developers. The only thing synonymous with Apple iOS and Android.

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.


Pantami Moves to Tackle $2.16bn Capital Flight from Telecoms Sector



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$2.16bn Leaves Telecommunications Sector Yearly

The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, has put the total capital flight from the telecommunications sector at $2.16 billion per year.

A large part of the total amount comes from those renewing and purchasing software licenses, domain subscriptions and renewals, and cybersecurity.

The minister said to stem the trend, the ministry has developed a policy to promote local content in the sector.

In his speech at the digital day celebration, Pantami said the Indigenous Content Development and Adoption, under Pillar #8 of the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (2020 – 2030), would tackle the issue.

Pantami said, “As part of our efforts to promote indigenous content, we have developed a policy for promoting indigenous content in the telecom sector to complement similar efforts that focus on the information technology sector.

“This is important to stem the tide of capital flight, among other things. A report of the Association of Telecommunication Companies of Nigeria suggests that such capital flight in the telecom sector is as high as $2.16bn annually.

“A healthy digital economy requires a robust indigenous content policy to significantly reduce this.”

Pantami stated that there was an urgent need to promote and support the development of indigenous content in all sectors.

He explained that the Indigenous Content Development and Adoption pillar was addressing this for the digital economy.

This pillar aligns with Executive Orders 003 of May 2017 and 005 of February 2018, on ‘Support for Local Content Procurements by Ministries, Department and Agencies of the Federal Government of Nigeria,” he said.

Speaking on broadband, the minister said the Nigerian National Broadband Plan (2020-2025) was created to speed up the growth of broadband connectivity in Nigeria.

Pantami said, “The plan is designed to deliver data download speeds across Nigeria of a minimum 25Mbps in urban areas, and 10Mbps in rural areas, with effective coverage available to at least 90 per cent of the population by 2025.

“This will be at a price not more than N390 per 1GB of data (two per cent of median income or one per cent of minimum wage).

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Nigeria’s Fintech Startups Raised $122 Million in 2019




Financial Technology Startups in Nigeria Raised $122 Million in 2019

Financial Technology (fintech) startups in Nigeria raised a combined $122 million in 2019, according to the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE).

Mr. Olumide Bolumole, the Divisional Head of Listings Business, NSE, disclosed this while speaking on the fintech industry and its growth in recent years.

“The Fintech industry in Nigeria continues to gain increasing popularity after taking the lead in Africa and attracting $122 million in funds in 2019.

“At the exchange, we recognise the opportunity to provide a platform where players in the Fintech landscape can have easier access to right-sized capital to fulfil their organisational objectives.

“The NSE is, therefore, committed to developing multiple solutions to address the needs of the Fintech community in Nigeria such as the provision of the NSE Growth Board.

“The exchange will also prioritise collaborations with organisations such as FinTechNGR to ensure solutions from this webinar are implemented for the benefit of the sector,” he said.

However, with just about 200 fintech companies in Nigeria, the sector is still young and just emerging with room for growth, considering the fact that most Nigerians are still unbanked.

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Fintech Companies Raised $554 Million in Investment Last Week




Financial Technology Firms Raised $554 Million Investment Capital Last Week

Financial Technology (Fintech) companies raised a combined $554.17 million from investment rounds last week.

A data compiled by Finbold showed the top 25 fintech firms were led by Razorpay and Wealthsimple.

Razorpay, a payment platform, raised $100 million to account for 18.04 percent of the total amount raised during the week. This was followed by Wealthsimple’s $87 million.

Deepwatch came third with $53 million while NYDIG and M1 Finance came fourth and fifth with $50 million and $45 million, respectively.

Other noteable fintechs include Extend $40 million; FOSSA $30.55 million; +Simple $23.75 million; Finexio $23 million; and Sonrai Security $20 million.

On the other hand, Evolve Credit was the last among the 25 companies. It raised $0.025 million while Upside Saving raised the second least fund at $0.42 million. Also, they were the two firms that raised below $1 million in the week under review.

Oliver Scott, a Finbold editor, who spoke on funding in the fintech sector, said “Notably, venture capital is still the primary source of funding for fintech startups. However, new trends indicate a high level of private equity and debt financing. Additionally, more funding activity is concentrated around later funding rounds. The sector is also witnessing a rise in IPOs and acquisitions. Such trends are pointing to a maturing market.”

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