Nigerians who went to buy phones trapped in China over COVID-19 outbreak

Vendors of phones and other technology products from Nigeria who travelled to China for the Chinese festival shopping season in late January are unable to do business or return to the country due to the Covid-19 outbreak.

Phone traders and vendors who spoke to newsmen in Lagos said some Nigerian vendors had not been able to return to the country as their business had not been concluded due to the shutdown of factories and restricted movement in China.

However, the Chairman, Lagos State chapter of the Association of Mobile Phone and Allied Products Traders in Nigeria, Mr Ifeanyi Akubue, said the outbreak of the virus had not in any way affected the availability of mobile phones and accessories.

He said many traders still had a stockpile of the products since December 2019 as sales had been slow, making the devices readily available.

“Most of our colleagues who travelled to China are not back and those who are here are not ready to travel. Most of the factories are closed and people are not allowed to move around, especially in Shenzhen,” he added.

Tech giants like Apple, Samsung, Google and Microsoft had shut their stores in China following the outbreak of the disease.

The Head, Corporate Communications, Zinox Technologies, Gideon Ayogu, explained that though the outbreak had impacted the production and shipment of components and hardware, production planning and forecasting had helped the company.

The latest report by International Data Corporation disclosed that the epidemic would create uncertainty in product launch plans and distribution channels.

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