US govt shuns Huawei Technologies

The US tries to persuade wireless and Internet providers to avoid telecoms equipment from the Chinese firm.

Read time 6min 10sec
Paul Booth.
Paul Booth.

Small acquisitions by Cisco, Microsoft and SAP were the main stories of a quiet international ICT market last week.

At home, the cabinet reshuffle and merging of the Department of Telecommunications and Postal Services (DTPS) and Department of Communications (DOC) was the key local headline.

Key local news

* A positive trading update from Naspers.
* A negative trading update from Etion.
* Connection Telecom, a South African public cloud communication solutions provider, acquired 51% of Analog and Digital Communications, an independent provider of private branch exchange and contact centre voice solutions.
* Sureswipe, a payment provider, bought a 50.1% majority stake in point-of-sale software company Humble Till, a move that will enhance Sureswipe's offering to SMEs using card payment solutions in-store by offering them an affordable and integrated solution.
* As part of a Cabinet reshuffle, the DTPS and DOC will merge into one unified ministry.
* The appointments of DTPS deputy minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams as minister of the 'new' DOC, and Werner Engelbrecht as GM of Kyocera Document Solutions SA (was interim GM).
* DTPS minister Siyabonga Cwele moves to the Department of Home Affairs, DOC minister Nomvula Mokonyane moves to the Department of Environmental Affairs, and Oupa Mopaki was appointed as CEO of the Media, Information and Communication Technologies Sector Education and Training Authority (MICT SETA).

Key African news

* The appointment of Ramez Shehadi as Facebook's MD for the MENA region.

Key international news

* Apple acquired Silk Labs, a start-up that works on artificial intelligence-based personal assistant technology for smartphones and smart home devices.
* Autodesk bought PlanGrid, a construction productivity software company, for $875 million.
* Cisco purchased UK-based Ensoft, a networking software company.
* HelpSystems acquired MVP Systems Software, the US-based developer of the JAMS workload management and scheduling software.
* Microsoft bought FSLogix in a move designed to extend Office 365 virtualisation capabilities.
* Prime Communications purchased GameStop's Spring Mobile business for $700 million.
* PTC acquired Frustum, a cloud-based computer-aided design software start-up that leverages AI to generate designs. The deal was worth $70 million.
* SAP bought Contextor SAS, a European company specialising in the design and integration of robotic process automation that will help SAP speed the development of its own machine learning portfolio.
* SoftBank Group Corp's Vision Fund made a $2 billion investment in South Korea's top e-commerce firm Coupang.
* The US government has initiated an extraordinary outreach campaign to foreign allies, trying to persuade wireless and Internet providers in these countries to avoid telecommunications equipment from China's Huawei Technologies.

As part of a Cabinet reshuffle, the DTPS and DOC will merge into one unified ministry.

* Very good quarterly figures from and Xiaomi (back in the black).
* Good quarterly numbers from Cheetah Mobile, Elbit Systems and Intuit (back in the black).
* Satisfactory quarterly results from Analog Devices, Daktronics, Formula Systems and QAD (back in the black).
* Mediocre quarterly results from Altice Europe, Bezeq Israel, Cellcom (Israel), Kulicke & Soffa and Partner Communications.
* Mediocre year-end numbers from Sage Group.
* Mixed quarterly figures from Brooks Automation, with revenue up but net income down.
* Quarterly losses from Aurora Mobile, Autodesk, Bilibili, Jianpu Technology, Keysight Technologies, MediaValet, Nuance Communications, Pinduoduo, Pure Storage, Sea Limited and Taiwan Mask.
* The appointments of Luigi Gubitosi as CEO of Telecom Italia, and Leo Hsieh as president and CEO of TPK Holding.
* The departure of HH Chiang, CEO of TPK Holding.
* An IPO filing for Hong Kong from iDreamSky Technology Holdings, a Chinese game distributor that has attracted Sony and as cornerstone investors.

Research results and predictions

South Africa:
* Smartphone sales in SA rose by around 16% to 3.15 million units in Q318 compared to the same quarter last year, according to GfK. In addition, smartphone revenue in SA expanded by 19% over the same period.

* Spending on digital transformation in the Middle East, Turkey and Africa region will cross the $20 billion mark this year, according to IDC. It expects this figure to more than double over the coming years, passing $40 billion mark by 2022.

* According to a joint study by Google and Temasek Holdings, Southeast Asia's Internet economy is expected to exceed $240 billion by 2025, a fifth more than previously estimated, as more consumers use their smartphones to go online.

Stock market changes

* JSE All share index: Down 2.7%
* FTSE100: Down 0.9%
* DAX: Down 1.3%
* NYSE (Dow): Down 4.4%
* S&P 500: Down 3.8%
* Nasdaq: Down 4.3%
* Nikkei225: Down 0.2%
* Hang Seng: Down 1%
* Shanghai: Down 3.7%

Look out for

* A buyer for A10 Networks.
* Logitech acquiring Plantronics.
* Finnish payment software firm Basware being acquired by US peer Tradeshift.

* Virgin Mobile Middle East and Africa selling all or part of itself.

South Africa:
* Further developments following the merger of the two government ICT entities.

Final word

The Technology Fast 500 is a leading technology awards programme. It has recognised the fastest-growing public and private technology, media, telecommunications, life sciences and energy tech companies in North America for more than 20 years. The Fast 500 companies, large, small, public and private, define the cutting-edge, transform the way business is done; combine technological innovation, entrepreneurship and rapid growth, and disrupt the technology industry.

Winners are selected based on percentage fiscal year revenue growth over a three-year period. The ranking is compiled from applications submitted directly to the Technology Fast 500 Web site and public company database research conducted by Deloitte.

Included in the top 20 are:
* 1: SwanLeap, a leading end-to-end transportation technology provider for logistics managers and supply chain decision-makers.
* 2: Justworks, an HR and payroll management start-up.
* 3: Shape Security, a developer and provider of cyber security solutions.
* 4: Periscope Data, the provider of a comprehensive data analysis platform.
* 7: iLearningEngines, a learning-as-a-service platform for enterprises to achieve mission-critical outcomes.
* 9: Podium, a company that develops cloud-based software to help businesses modernise customer interactions, such as messaging and customer feedback, and improve their online reputations.
* 10: Markforged, a designer, developer and manufacturer of 3D printers.
* 11: COLO-D, a provider of carrier-neutral colocation and business continuity services to customers.
* 12: BioCatch, a company that uses behavioural biometrics for fraud prevention and detection.
* 13: Reflektive, a company that offers a platform for employee performance, engagement and analytics.
* 14: PowerInBox, a company that offers e-mail marketers with tools, including revenuetripe and dynamicmail.
* 15: xG Technology, a provider of end-to-end video solutions from the field to point of usage.
* 17: Ideanomics, a next-generation AI and blockchain-powered fintech service company.
* 18: FLEXE, a provider of a leading online marketplace for on-demand warehousing solutions.
* 19: Aarki, a provider of mobile application advertising solutions.
* 20: Signfyd, the provider of an app that helps merchants by detecting fraud and preventing credit card chargebacks.

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