Huawei Technologies is building two distribution warehouses and a research & development lab in SA as part of the Chinese technology company’s ambition to be the biggest seller of high-end smartphones in the country by the end of 2019. Chinese telecommunications companies, which represent the largest nation in the Brics (Brazil, Russia, India, China and SA) grouping, are looking to SA for growth. In September, state-owned operator China Mobile opened an office in Johannesburg and said it had signed an agreement with MTN for a "strategic alliance relationship". Chinese investments will touch other parts of the economy too, with President Cyril Ramaphosa, who recently visited China, saying that he had secured infrastructure funding worth close to R360bn from Beijing. Huawei ranks third in SA — behind Samsung and Apple — in terms of sales of smartphones priced at $600 (about R8,500) or more. Growth strategy As part of its growth strategy, Huawei is exploring a partnership with Discover...

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