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Chinese Tech in Africa: What Happened to OPay & What Will Happen to Huawei?

Chinese-owned Nigerian tech company OPay started 2020 with $170 million of cash bursting from its pockets but even that much money wasn’t enough to save the company from the dramatic economic downturn brought on by the COVID-19 outbreak and new regulations in Lagos that effectively killed its ride-sharing business. Sensing there was no way to quickly revive the OPay’s ailing logistics businesses (ride sharing, food delivery, etc…), the company’s Beijing-based owner Zhou Yahui restructured the business by shutting down pretty much everything except its still profitable mobile payments unit OPay.

Abubakar Idris, a Lagos-based journalist at the Nigerian tech news website TechCabal, has been following the dramatic events at OPay. He joins Eric & Cobus to share the backstory of what happened at one of Africa’s once most promising tech start-ups and also discusses his view on what’s next for Huawei in Africa after the company was effectively banned from two of Europe’s largest markets due to intense U.S. pressure.

Show Notes:

About Abubakar Idris:

Abubakar Idris is a Lagos-based journalist for the Nigerian tech news website TechCabal where he covers the intersection between technology, politics and society. Prior to joining TechCabal was a writer at TecNext.ng and also founder of African Jotter, an independent content initiative where he writes extensively about contemporary African issues.

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