Chinese smartphone maker to establish factory in Turkey, invest $3B in five years

İBRAHIM ACAR
Istanbul
Published 09.12.2018 23:59
Updated 10.12.2018 08:00

China's Transsion Holding is setting up a mobile phone factory in Turkey with a $3 billion investment plan over five years.

Having initiated a policy of domestic and national production mobilization and following policies that will assure international investors, Turkey attracted the attention of Chinese Transsion Holding. The Chinese company decided on the investment projecting $500 million in the first phase and $2-3 billion in the next five years.

The company, which produces Tecno brand mobile phones and tablets and sold 130 million mobile phones worldwide in 2017, is one of the biggest exporters in China.

Choosing Turkey as its main base in exports, Transsion Holding intends to enter the markets of Europe, the Turkic Republics and Russia with this investment.

Transsion Holding, which aims to enter the Turkish market in 2019 with its products and plans to initiate a factory investment in 2020, will significantly reduce imports at competitive prices in the upper segment mobile phone market.

In 2017, Turkey's smartphone imports totaled $7 billion.

The Chinese company has established a company in partnership with İhsan Aktaş, the owner of Genar Research, which came to the fore during the elections with its polls.

"We agreed with the Chinese company upon the investment. We established a company called Digigen. This company will run the sales and investment-related activities," Aktaş said.

Elaborating on the Chinese holding's investment, Genar Business Development Director and Digigen CEO Celalettin Ünal said quality and affordable mobile phones will be imported in the first phase, then these phones will be produced in Turkey and exported to the surrounding countries.

Stressing that the works for the sale of Tecno brand mobile phones began, Ünal pointed out that a few alternatives are being investigated for the investment area.

"We will cooperate with one of Turkey's leading universities to produce new technologies," he continued, adding that they will go retail for the sale of Chinese company's products that manufacture tablets and accessories, as well as mobile phones, in 2019, and that they started to hire the staff in this regard.

Ünal recalled that a seven-person team consisting of Transsion Holding's production manager, marketing manager and financial manager, stayed in Turkey for a week.

"When they arrived, their image of Turkey was a Middle Eastern country. After seeing it, they said it was a European country. Therefore, there may be new investments in tablets and other products," he added.

He stated that the technical superiority of Tecno mobile phones competes with the brands in the market, but that the price is one-third of those products.

Ünal said that they talked to the ministries related to the incentives and that the government supports the project.

"The factory will employ 500 people in the first place, which does not include sales offices employees and after-sales service units," he continued. "We launch the first model in two years. Tecno's entry into the market will lower the prices of other models. Expensive phone sellers will have no chance after that. After the production of Tecno phones, imports will decrease by $2 billion."

Celalettin Ünal said 2.5 million phone exports are planned in the first phase, which amounts to around $300 million annually. Highlighting that an investment of $2.5 billion to 3 billion should be made within five years in accordance with this sales volume, Ünal said the investment begins in late 2019 or early 2020.

Ünal explained that they undertook Tecno's representation in Russia and Europe as Digigen in collaboration with Genar Chairman İhsan Aktas and businessperson Latif İçin as the partners of the company.

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