Hong Kong-listed phone retailer Beijing Digital Telecom has revealed plans to open 3000 new retail stores in 10 countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America.
The ambitious plan is a strategy to counter what it describes as the “saturation” of the Chinese market by smartphone makers.
Working with partners, the company plans to ramp up its international expansion. The first step is in Nigeria where the company has already started opening stores in Lagos, the nation’s largest city. Within the next 12 months, Beijing Digital plans 400 stores for Nigerian cities and in India, targeting 2 million handset sales in those countries in that year.
In the third year of its strategy, the company plans to launch in five new countries, opening 1000 stores and selling 5 million handsets.
Sometime in 2020 it expects to achieve an overseas network of 3000 stores – double the current 1500 in its home market – and sell 10 million more phones annually, almost double the 10.63 million it sold last calendar year.
“It is an irresistible trend to launch the globalisation strategy,” Jin Xin, president of Beijing Digital Telecom told a media conference, announcing the plan.
“The telecom retail market in South Asia and Africa lags at least four to five years behind China, so there is huge potential,” he said.
“On the other hand, many well-known Chinese mobile phone manufacturers are going abroad, with the intention to become world-class enterprises, and advanced telecommunication retailers should also keep up with the trend to go international along with these manufacturers, which could reduce communication costs and enhance competitiveness,” he said Jin.
In China, Beijing Digital sells mobile telecommunications devices and accessories and provides value-added services. It has strategic partnerships with China’s three major telecommunication carriers and mobile phone makers including Apple, Xiaomi and Lenovo.
Beijing Digital told its shareholders this week the strategy was in response to the Chinese government’s “One Belt and One Road” policy and considers the increasingly saturated domestic market with intense competition for smartphones as well as the great potential in the overseas market.
“The company believes the Strategic Business Expansion will significantly promote the brand image and competitiveness of the company so as to improve the overall business performance.”