Shenzhen Transsion applies to raise capital on Shanghai’s technology board after taking Africa’s phone market by storm
- Transsion, selling through its brands Tecno, Infinix and Itel, had 58.7 per cent of Africa’s mobile phone market in 2018, according to IDC data
- Another 11 mainland China companies have applied to list on the new board
Another 11 mainland China companies said they have applied to list on the new board. The Shanghai Stock Exchange on Monday unveiled an online platform tracking the review process for the new board. By the evening, no application has been formally accepted by the bourse.
The China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) two weeks ago scrapped a valuation limit on new listings, removing the final barrier that had deterred tech companies from raising capital locally.
“Transsion is in urgent need of money” to finance its expansion and growth, said Frank Xu, an analyst at Q Fund, a Hong Kong-based hedge fund. “The company is facing more competition as it moves up the value chain to produce smartphones, and they need money to improve their infrastructure and services to attract more customers.”
The company sells its phones under three brands: Tecno, Infinix and Itel, with 58.7 per cent share of the market for so-called feature phones without gesture commands, according to IDC data. Among smartphones, Transsion’s market share was 34.3 per cent, beating Samsung’s 22.6 per cent and Huawei’s 9.9 per cent. The company shipped 130 million phones last year, Transsion said, without disclosing its revenue or profit figures.
China’s state media took notice of Transsion’s outsize market share, featuring the phone maker in a 2017 show called Great Power Diplomacy to promote successful Chinese businesses on the continent. Transsion owns and runs a production facility in Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia.
Before undergoing its IPO counselling, Transsion had considered a plan to go public through a reverse takeover of Shimge Pump Industry Group on the Shenzhen Exchange, according to a March 2018 statement.
Trading in Shimge’s stock was halted on Friday, without offering a reason. The stock’s price jumped 4.8 per cent on March 11, the biggest one-day percentage jump since October.
With more than 10,000 employees worldwide, Transsion has a global sales network covering more than 50 countries and regions in Africa, the Middle East, Southeast Asia and South Asia, including Nigeria, Kenya, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Egypt, the UAE (Dubai), India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and others, its website said.
Given high mobile phone penetration rates in global emerging markets, the firm is also putting a lot of efforts into developing mobile internet applications, such as Boomplay Music, a music streaming platform for the African market with over 40 million users as of March 2019.