Chinese-owned Nigerian tech company OPay started 2020 with $170 million of cash bursting from its pockets but even that much money wasn’t enough to save the company from the dramatic economic downturn brought on by the COVID-19 outbreak and new regulations in Lagos that effectively killed its ride-sharing business. Sensing there was no way to quickly revive the OPay’s ailing logistics businesses (ride sharing, food delivery, etc…), the company’s Beijing-based owner Zhou Yahui restructured the business by shutting down pretty much everything except its still profitable mobile payments unit OPay.
Abubakar Idris, a Lagos-based journalist at the Nigerian tech news website TechCabal, has been following the dramatic events at OPay. He joins Eric & Cobus to share the backstory of what happened at one of Africa’s once most promising tech start-ups and also discusses his view on what’s next for Huawei in Africa after the company was effectively banned from two of Europe’s largest markets due to intense U.S. pressure.
- TechCabal: How Chinese tech billionaire Yahui Zhou is calling the shots at OPay by Abubakar Idris
- Bloomberg: SoftBank-Backed OPay Suspends Part of Its Operations in Nigeria by Anthony Osae-Brown and Tope Alake
- The Africa Report: Why the US campaign against Huawei will fail in Africa by Eric Olander
About Abubakar Idris:
Abubakar Idris is a Lagos-based journalist for the Nigerian tech news website TechCabal where he covers the intersection between technology, politics and society. Prior to joining TechCabal was a writer at TecNext.ng and also founder of African Jotter, an independent content initiative where he writes extensively about contemporary African issues.