China’s Huawei Technologies has been a leader in the consumer and enterprise business for years but after the harsh US sanctions and the COVID-19 pandemic, the firm has been yearning for new revenue streams to complement its dwindling revenues.
In a new growth strategy, Huawei is driving the uptake of its desktop computers, monitors, tablets in the Kenyan market to sign up as more businesses as possible. The firm has entered into a distribution partnership with Mitsumi Kenya in a deal that will see it distribute Huawei’s full set of business products, solutions, and service platforms in East Africa. Mitsumi will distribute Huawei’s MateBook B3,B5,and B7 series for laptops, MateStation B520 series for desktops, Display B3 series for monitors, MatePad C3, and C5e for tablets, and business printers which make this vision access to a wide range of customers.
In a statement about the new partnership, Huawei Mobile Kenya’s Jim Zhijue said’ “The future of smart office will definitely be defined by integration of ecosystems, interactions and devices. The era of constant connectivity and collaboration demands is here, content developing and sharing across different platforms is growing therefore the need for tech solutions through innovative ideas and products.”
“With fast-changing business requirements, market conditions, the need for nimble office solutions has never been greater. Smart workplaces and equipment have begun to replace traditional office products, which tended to boast impressive specs and control costs at the expense of versatility and user experience.” He concluded.
Huawei’s revenues from its smartphone business got a hit after former U.S. president Donald Trump put it on an export blacklist in 2019 and barred it from accessing raw materials critical for its chip manufacturing. The sanctions hit Huawei hard and saw it drop out of China’s top five smartphone vendors. The firm saw a drop in its smartphone revenue by at least $30-40 billion in 2021. In 2022, Huawei had hopes that the Biden administration would reduce pressure on it but there are no signs that Washington will slow down or recant its policy soon.With such, Huawei has been looking for new areas of growth such as 5G and AI-based infrastructure among others. Huawei has also been exploring investments in technologies that do not require chips.
“Despite a revenue decline in 2021, our ability to make a profit and generate cash flows is increasing, and we are more capable of dealing with uncertainty.” Thanks to the enhanced profitability of its major businesses, the company’s cash flow from operating activities dramatically increased in 2021, amounting to CNY59.7 billion. Its liability ratio also dropped to 57.8%, and its overall financial structure has become more resilient and flexible,” said Meng Wanzhou, Huawei’s CFO, at a past event.
Huawei Consumer BG is developing business products, and building open, secure, and reliable software and hardware ecosystem capabilities to facilitate full digitalization for governments and large-scale enterprises. It’s one-stop office solutions for small- and medium-sized enterprises, will be built on Consumer BG’s accumulated smart office and cloud service prowess. Smart office features like Super Device and Mobile App Engine, allow for seamless multi-device and cross-ecosystem collaboration, while Huawei Mobile Cloud makes data transfers truly effortless, taking work efficiency to new heights.
In retaliation to the US sanctions, Huawei launched its own operating system dubbed HarmonyOS after it was closed out of using Google Play services. HarmonyOS has been deployed on more than 220 million Huawei devices, with over 730 million monthly active users. More than 5.4 million developers worldwide have registered to join Huawei’s developer alliance, and over 187,000 apps have been integrated with HMS Core. In 2021, the number of HMS apps worldwide jumped by 147% compared to 2020.
Mitsumi already distributes Huawei’s mobile phones, laptops and network equipment across East Africa, the new deal will see them distribute Matebooks, Mate Stations, Tablets, Printers, monitors and wearables.
“We at Mitsumi are delighted to have Huawei on board with us as we strengthen the existing relationship in order to look forward to further growth together. Over the last two decades Mitsumi has seen tremendous growth despite circumstances like the pandemic, and continue to pride ourselves off of our strong in-country presences especially in the African region,” said Mitsumi -Group Product Head, Mr. Siddharth Jain.