Transsion Holdings: Leveraging Disruption in Emerging Markets

Taiyuan Wang, Liman Zhao, S. Ramakrishna Velamuri

Research output: Other contributionCase Studies


This case describes how Transsion Holdings ("Transsion"), a company with Chinese origins and strong advantages in the low-cost production of quality products, has used disruptive innovation to drive its many achievements in African and other emerging markets (such as India). As a startup with few resources, it was able to surpass global mobile phone brands (such as Samsung and Nokia) and take the lead position in the African mobile phone market (in terms of market share by volume). However, Transsion has been facing fierce competition in recent years. In January 2019, Xiaomi, a well-known Chinese smartphone brand, also entered the African market after gaining a firm foothold in the Indian market, and thus became a threat to Transsion’s efforts to retain its lead position in Africa. In India, Transsion has to compete against Xiaomi as well as aggressive local competitors. Furthermore, due to consumption upgrading, the development of feature phones is making way for that of smartphones. How can Transsion, as the world’s largest feature phone brand, expand its business in such an environment? Based on the disruptive innovation theory proposed by Dr. Clayton M. Christensen, this case will lead a discussion on why Transsion successfully entered Africa and achieved a leading position there and how Transsion should act in other emerging but competitive markets. By doing so, it aims to explore the implications of technology-based companies' growth strategy in emerging markets.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages16
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jun 2020

Case number


Case normative number


Case type

Field Case

Update date



For more details, please visit

Published by

China Europe International Business School


  • Africa
  • revolutionary innovation/disruptive innovation
  • emerging market
  • mobile phone industry
  • competition
  • China

Case studies discipline

  • Entrepreneurship
  • International Business
  • Strategy

Case studies industry

  • Information, Media & Telecommunications
  • Retail Trade


Dive into the research topics of 'Transsion Holdings: Leveraging Disruption in Emerging Markets'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this