View profile

OPay and WeChat to finetune their strategies for Africa

Avuxeni, That's "good morning" in TsongaIn their early days, Chinese internet startups were often vie
get.Africa
OPay and WeChat to finetune their strategies for Africa
By get.Africa Weekly • Issue #26 • View online
Avuxeni,
That’s “good morning” in Tsonga
In their early days, Chinese internet startups were often viewed as Silicon Valley analogues, Meituan was described as the Groupon of China, Weibo as the Chinese equivalent of Twitter, and so on.
But somewhere around 2014/15, Chinese companies started to outgrow these parallels.
The birth of the super app
China’s online-to-offline (O2O) revolution is largely credited with bringing about this change.
O2O empowers consumers to use digital interfaces to pay for non-digital goods; it blends the digital and physical worlds together.
In China, the revolution was driven by three key factors:
  1. Mobile-first internet users with access to cheap smartphones,
  2. Mobile payments enabled by the proliferation of QR codes,
  3. And the rise of the incomparable super apps.
A super app is an umbrella of apps that offers the user a single interface, it’s been likened to a digital Swiss army knife.
The term was coined by Blackberry founder Mike Lazaridis, but it was in China that the concept truly came to life.
Parallels in Africa
Africa’s O2O revolution is missing true super apps, and two China-backed companies, OPay and WeChat, have been tipped to lead the way in building one.
Unfortunately, both companies have suffered recent setbacks.
Okada bans in Lagos and coronavirus lockdowns have impaled OPay, while WeChat’s issues have been arguably self-inflicted.
Consequently, OPay has announced the suspension of its non-fintech verticals to focus on mobile payments and e-commerce, while, in South Africa, WeChat is doing away with its wallets feature.
But reports of their deaths are greatly exaggerated.
OPay maintains a commanding lead in mobile payments in Nigeria and Tencent, WeChat’s parent company, is intrinsically tied to the continent via Naspers.
If Africa is to experience an O2O revolution on the scale of China’s, both companies are still in position to play their part.

OPay temporarily shutters non-fintech verticals
WeChat Wallet in South Africa shuts down
The grand fintech consolidation in MFS Africa’s acquisition of Beyonic
Techpoint Africa Podcast: MTN sues Ghana telecom agency, NCA
Techpoint Africa Podcast: MTN sues Ghana telecom agency, NCA
M-Pesa is Nearing 99 Percent Market Share as T-Kash, Airtel Money Dwindle
How online freelancers in Africa are paying for Germany's Wirecard fraud
4 Key metrics from Carbon's financials in the past three years
MultiChoice mulls dropping EPL, UEFA broadcast rights
Telma and Ericsson launch commercial 5G services in Madagascar
How this African football team is helping more women to code
Stay in touch! Follow us on Twitter, like our page on Facebook, share this email with a friend, send us an email.
Did you enjoy this issue?
get.Africa Weekly

African tech in a language you’ll understand. The most compelling stories from the continent's tech scene delivered to your inbox every Monday. Curated by @theChiaman.

If you don't want these updates anymore, please unsubscribe here.
If you were forwarded this newsletter and you like it, you can subscribe here.
Powered by Revue
get.Africa Media, Nigeria