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Emerging Technology Industry News Headlines Update on September 10, 2020

Huawei HarmonyOS coming to mobile devices early next year. Richard Yu, head of Huawei’s consumer business group, announced Thursday afternoon confirmed that HarmonyOS, known in Chinese as HongmengOS, its in-house replacement for Android, will run on smartphones. HarmonyOS will be available as early access to developers in December, with consumers to see it early next year.

Bytedance is planning to invest several billion dollars in Singapore over the next three years as part of Bytedance’s global expansion to establish data centre and expected to add hundreds of jobs in Singapore, according to Bloomberg reported. Read more at Bloomberg Technology > TikTok Owner to Spend Billions in Singapore After U.S. Ban

China’s food delivery drivers are overburdened with too many orders, inaccurate navigation systems, and payment algorithms that punish drivers, according to an article published Tuesday by People (人物).

Sales for China’s new energy vehicle (NEV) will fall 17% annually to 1 million units this year, this will be temporary due to reduced purchase subsidies and extended production quota mandates, according to China Passenger Car Association (CPCA).

China’s largest technology and financial services companies are stepping up efforts to expand in Singapore, as the doors slamming shut on mainland groups in the US and India make the Asian finance hub crucial for international growth, reported the Financial Times. Alibaba-backed Ant Group, China’s second-largest brokerage Haitong Securities, Huawei’s cloud division and Tencent-backed digital bank WeBank are among the companies that have in recent months approached Singapore’s industry groups about becoming members or partnerships.

China’s pivot to domestic production of hi-tech products is gathering pace as the country looks to shake off dependence on foreign technology in light of decoupling threats from the United States. Read more at South China Morning Post > China tech firms embrace inward economic pivot, but some wary of ‘technological isolation’

The Ant Group calculator. Ant Group’s IPO is set to be a blockbuster, but no one knows exactly how big it will be yet. Reuters put together at a calculator that estimates Ant’s market value based on the performance of its four main fintech businesses. It says the most likely “starting point” is $275 billion.

EXPANDING EMPIRES | China tech in Africa: flip phones to fintech

China tech in Africa is nothing new. Huawei has built around 70% of the continent’s 4G networks. Transsion commands 40% of Africa’s smartphone market. Much of the activity by tech firms have focused on telecommunications infrastructure and the handset market. But as the infrastructure becomes more developed, Chinese companies are increasingly offering a new slate of digital services and backing novel African startups, with a focus on inclusive financial services.

  • Initially focused on the US, Chinese companies have since 2018 slowed down investing in the country, as tensions between the two superpowers rise. Companies including Alibaba and Tencent have instead sharpened their focus on the developing markets of India and Southeast Asia.
  • Huawei was instrumental in rolling out 4G across Africa and is set to drive 5G adoption on the continent.
  • Huawei received preferential loans from the Chinese government to establish telecom infrastructure throughout Africa, found Iginio Gagliardone, a professor at the University of the Witwatersrand who has written extensively about the influence of China in Africa.

  • Transsion controlled more than 40% of the African smartphone market at the end of last year, according to the International Data Corporation (IDC) > Africa’s Smartphone Market Posts Growth, but Uncertainty Around Global COVID-19 Outbreak Casts Shadow over Short-Term Prospects
  • Meituan-Dianping, Tencent, Netease, and Transsion have made big bets on African companies.
  • Alibaba has taken a different approach by launching training programs for aspiring African entrepreneurs.
  • Ant Group has taken notice of Africa’s fintech revolution. Ant Group partnered with Flutterwave to add Alipay as a payment method for Flutterwave’s 60,000 merchants last year.
  • Chinese investors have also increasingly sought out startups across Africa, looking to place their bets on Africans without bank accounts.
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