Interview: China's tech innovation spurs internet development in Africa: Opera CEO

Source: Xinhua| 2019-12-26 14:40:25|Editor: zh
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by Xinhua writers Luo Qi, Zhou Qianxian

BEIJING, Dec. 26 (Xinhua) -- Merely by tapping a few times on a mobile phone, one can be picked up at the side of the road -- a familiar scene in China now can be seen in Nigeria.

China's booming mobile internet technologies have been bringing enormous dividends to other markets, particularly African countries, Zhou Yahui, chairman and CEO of Opera Limited, told Xinhua in an interview.

After purchasing traditional browser Opera in 2016, Zhou decided to enter the market of Nigeria, Africa's most populous country.

Opera's strong financial performance after its entrance into Africa vindicated his decision. Its latest quarterly report showed its Q3 revenue surged 119 percent year on year, and the monthly active smartphone users spiked up 18 percent, reversing the long-term downward trend.

The Nasdaq-listed company unveiled its ambition to explore the African market as a "blue ocean market" by launching a series of products including the online payment tool Opay, bike-hailing app ORide, loan app OKash, and food order platform OFood, catering to a range of lifestyle demands and providing access to more users.

Zhou is upbeat about the prospects of the African market despite the low smartphone penetration rate and weak infrastructure. "The utilization of internet data will speed up the establishment of a credit system, improve the overall commercial credit and tech ecosystem, thus optimizing the investment environment in the long run," he said.

In Zhou's eyes, exploring the African market is more like growing food. "It may be a long and difficult process, but we will ultimately reap a harvest."