Ghana’s mobile phone markets are currently dominated by a Chinese company called Transsion. Based on 7-month ethnographic research, this article examines Transsion’s distribution and marketing practices in Ghana, which are largely labor-intensive, rural-centric, low value-added, and lower-class-oriented. Taking a historical approach, this article reveals that this business strategy originated in China and has been translated to Ghana by a wide variety of translators. By elaborating various translation scenarios, this article demonstrates that translation as a practice, be it cultural, technological, or managerial, is a complicated process with tensions, adaptations, and innovations. As a tech company from the Global South, Transsion provides a critical case to think beyond the urban-centric and high value-added business model of Silicon Valley-type companies.
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© The Author(s) 2021.
- mobile phone
- rural marketing