Unfazed by US, Huawei expands in Africa with SA data centre

JOHANNESBURG — Chinese telecommunications company Huawei may be banned in the US over spying concerns, but it has a tremendous presence across the globe, particularly in emerging markets. In fact, right here in South Africa, Huawei doesn’t just sell cheap smartphones but it also increasingly powers the infrastructure (cell towers, fibre connections etc) that drive the data to these devices. You just have to drive around major centres such as Johannesburg or Cape Town to see Huawei branded bakkies and trucks doing installations or maintenance services. But Huawei’s infrastructure game in South Africa and Africa is about to step up a notch with the launch of a new data centre in Johannesburg in March. The company has plans to further launch a Cape Town data centre as well. – Gareth van Zyl

By Loni Prinsloo

(Bloomberg) – Huawei Technologies plans to roll out services from its first data centre in South Africa in March, as the Chinese technology giant seeks to expand in Africa amid an escalating global row over the security of its equipment.

The company is working with local partners to provide services from its first data-storage site to support cloud services in the country in Johannesburg, with a second to follow in Cape Town, Huawei said in an emailed statement on Wednesday.

PREMIUM: How Huawei took over the world – The Wall Street Journal

The expansion comes as Huawei faces pressure from the US administration, which accuses the Chinese firm of being a security threat and wants mobile operators to break off relations. Governments across Europe are weighing restrictions on Huawei, which says it’s privately held and doesn’t take orders from Beijing.

The furore poses a risk to a pain free roll-out of fifth-generation mobile technology, including in Africa. Huawei is the top global supplier of telecom equipment.