WeChat has not found it funny since it entered Nigeria. Naspers, the parent company of Tencent, owners of WeChat have decided to pack and leave Nigeria for South Africa.
The messaging app has been struggling to withstand competition directly posed by Facebook’s WhatsApp and the BlackBerry Messenger.
While WeChat had expended million of Naira (NGN) into above the line advertising and offline activation, the app has not been able to captivate Nigeria’s 70 million smartphone users.
Naspers, the parent company of WeChat has not been too successful in running technology businesses. Except for Konga and DSTV, virtually all Naspers’ tech ventures are either shutdown after few years or taken back to South Africa, its corporate headquarters.
As reported by Quartz Africa, in 2011, the company closed Kalahari, its supposed Amazon-clone e-commerce platform. Also, following slow growth in Nigeria and a year later, it collapsed its classifieds site Dealfish into OLX, buying a stake in the latter.
In 2013, Naspers also shut down Mocality, its online business directory firm, in Nigeria and Kenya, less than two year the company launched into the two markets.
However, Naspers is still bullish on the Nigerian market. The company is still running digital publishing outfits such as News24 and host of other sites in jobs and classifieds.
Naspers is Africa most valuable company by market capitalisation. The resources to experiment still reside in its kitty, but the company needs to develop bottom/local to regional products instead of importing ideas that might bite the dust in the face of market volatility.
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