US risks handing Africa’s e-commerce sector to China

US risks handing Africa’s e-commerce sector to China

Photo source: Bloomberg

Washington’s efforts to isolate Huawei could shut out US tech giants from the continent.

Africa has long been a battleground for influence between China and the US, and the latest phase in this rivalry is digital. Huawei — as the largest builder of mobile phone masts in Africa (about 70 per cent of them), the maker of Africa’s most popular handsets and the key player in developing 5G technologies in the region — stands in the way of America’s digital ambitions in Africa. This makes it a natural target for the Trump administration’s ire.