Affordable Chinese mobile phones silently change Pakistan’s digital landscape

Chinese mobile phones available at relatively affordable rates have silently changed Pakistan’s digital landscape in recent years.

Ms Faqeha, a digital media expert and deputy secretary of Faisalabad Women Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said accessibility and affordability were vital in the digital transformation.  
“Affordability and accessibility of Chinese smartphones have spurred digital revolution in Pakistan, enabling people from diverse backgrounds to take part in the digital economy and leverage the advantages of being connected.”

Naveed Ahmed, a mobile dealer in Kutchery Bazaar, a market where you can find all sorts of mobile phones, said though people were hit by spiraling inflation, they needed smartphones to run their businesses online to leverage their incomes. He said Chinese phones had become an affordable solution for them.

He said the majority of Chinese cell phones were carrying innovative features and their performance was excellent, and that's why their demand was increasing by the day. 

“From economical to costly, all sorts of Chinese mobile phones are available in the market. It's your buying capacity that determines your choice,” Ahmed said.

“Such devices have changed the way people communicate, even in remote areas,” he said, adding now the majority of people have access to multimedia information. 

Awais Ahmed, who lives in a village of Faisalabad and works as a salesman at a fabric shop, has purchased a Chinese cell phone to start his digital shop.

Talking to WealthPK, he said the financial condition of his family was going from bad to worse due to surging inflation, forcing him to think starting a new venture to help his family financially. 

“As a salesman, I am getting only Rs15,000 a month, which is insufficient. Now I will earn more by selling women garments on my online platform, which I have opened with the help of my new mobile phone,” he said. 

He said he purchased his new Chinese mobile for Rs45,000 to start his online business. 
Elaborating his business plan, Awais said owners of the shop, where he was working, introduced new designs regularly and he would use images of such outfits to attract customers online. “Whenever I get an order, I would place it before my shop owner, dispatch the parcel to the customers and earn money this way.” 

Challenging counterparts from various countries, including the US and Finland, Chinese smartphones are offering marvelous value and quality for money,” Naveed Ahmed, the mobile dealer, claimed. These two factors – affordability and quality – make Chinese brands standout and accessible to a wider segment of people, including low-income earners, professionals and students, he pointed out.  

To remain competitive in the market, Naveed Ahmed said the local traders had to offer a wider range of Chinese phones with cutting-edge features regularly.  

Before the arrival of Chinese brands on the Pakistani market, scores of people were not able to buy smartphones due to their high rates, Ahmed Ali, a student, said. 

“I had purchased a Chinese smartphone last year and am still using it without any sort of technical issue. I just changed its protector. My phone is offering me a lot of latest features.” 

He said now every sort of lecture was available on online platforms and he downloaded such educational resources on his phone.

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