Chinese electronics manufacturer Huawei has enjoyed a rise in popularity in South Africa over the last couple of years, launching a number of cost-effective smartphones and other telecommunications equipment locally.

Huawei has been so successful in SA, that it has just revealed that it will increase its local workforce by around 50% in the next five years. By the last count at the end of 2014, Huawei had just over 1 000 employees locally, of which 60% were South African.

“As a responsible enterprise, each year Huawei provides technical and operational training to small ICT enterprises in South Africa, nurturing local talent and driving development of the country’s ICT industry,” Huawei said in a press statement.

Secretary General of the African National Congress (ANC) Gwede Mantashe paid the Huawei headquarters a visit last week, and met with Huawei senior vice president Dafeng Li.

“We appreciate the continued investment in South Africa by a leading high-tech enterprise such as Huawei, and we welcome Huawei’s help in upgrading national telecommunications network coverage, digitizing government and the public sector, and fostering creative ICT talent for South Africa,” Mantashe said.

High-end smartphones are the biggest driver in Huawei’s profits (pushing up overall sales by 20%). In January this year the Asian firm explained that entry-level phones for the low income African market don’t figure in its future plans.

“Overall, globally we’re now focused on the middle- to high-end segment. We don’t do feature phones, we don’t focus on the low-end market as our global strategy. In Africa, it depends on the specific country,” said Roland Sladek, Huawei’s VP for International Media Affairs, at the time.

We had a hands-on experience with Huawei’s Ascend Mate 7 back in November – click here to find out what we thought.

Charlie started his professional life as a motoring journalist for a community newspaper in Mpumalanga, Charlie explored different journalistic angles since his entry into the fast-paced world of publishing in 2006. While fostering a passion for the arts, Charlie developed a love for technology – both which allowed him to serve as Entertainment and Technology Editor for an online publication. Charlie has since been heavily involved in consumer technology for various websites and publications. He thoroughly enjoys World War II films and cerebral documentaries; aviation; photography and indie music. Oh yes, and he also has a rather strange obsession with collecting coffee mugs from his travels.