Jumia, Xiaomi partner in new distribution deal

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Jumia group VP and Xiaomi VP
Romain Christodoulou (left), Senior Vice President, Jumia Group and Wang Xiang the Senior Vice President, Xiaomi Corporation. PHOTO/COURTESY: Jumia

E-commerce platform Jumia on Thursday, at the just concluded Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, signed a partnership deal with Chinese Electronics Company Xiaomi that will see the online platform distribute the electronics maker devices across the continent.

The partnership will see Jumia open Xiaomi’s official store on its platform which will connect the electronics maker to millions of customers across fourteen different African countries.

The conglomerate will be supported by an ambitious joint-marketing plan that will run over the course of 2019, leveraging Jumia’s digital assets and Xiaomi’s marketing capabilities.

According to Jumia Group’s Senior Vice President Mr. Romain Christodoulou, the partnership will benefit both the two firms and African customers.

 “This partnership is very important for us as it will definitely foster the smartphone adoption in Africa as well as support e-commerce penetration. Xiaomi and Jumia have very similar internet DNA and will serve a common purpose; delivering the best in class affordable smartphones along with the best shopping experience,” Mr. Romain Christodoulou said during the signing ceremony.

“This will be very beneficial for both companies and above all for the consumers in Africa,” he added.

On his part, Xiaomi’s Senior Vice President Wang Xiang lauded the move that will bring with it innovation to the African continent.

“We believe in working with companies that share our values and delighted to partner with Jumia to reach more Mi fans across Africa. The e-commerce model is part of Xiaomi’s DNA and we believe that working with Jumia will help us bring innovation for everyone across the continent.” said Xiaomi’s Senior Vice President. 

The partnership will initially cover Nigeria, Egypt, Kenya, Ivory Coast, Morocco, and Ghana and aim to cover all other countries where Jumia operates. Most markets will be directly supplied from China, confirming the fast expansion of intercontinental trade in Africa.

Africa has seen the rise of affordable entry-level devices from price-focused brands especially from China, which remains a key driver of smartphone adoption in the continent. Smartphone penetration in Africa stood at approximately 36 per cent in 2018, with the number expected to reach about 66 per cent by 2025.

The announcement on the partnership by the two firms comes days after Jumia disabled in-person pick-up option for its shoppers and according to a report by Business Daily; the firm’s customers will now be forced to choose either office or home delivery for purchases after the company withdrew that flexible offline pick-up alternative.

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