Why Cell C has not sold Huawei smartphones for months

Earlier this year, Cell C removed all Huawei devices from its franchise booklet and website.

Almost four months later, and it is still not possible to buy a Huawei smartphone from Cell C.

Blue Label, which recently acquired a 45% stake in Cell C, said its recent acquisition of 3G Mobile for R1.9 billion has given it access to a significant handset distribution business.

3G Mobile’s portfolio includes “second-tier devices”, which comprises “upcoming brands” like Huawei.

This raises the question: Was Cell C’s removal of Huawei from its portfolio related to Blue Label’s acquisition of 3G Mobile?

Blue Label joint-CEO Brett Levy said the two matters are not related.

Cell C’s decision to stop selling Huawei devices was part of the normal course of negotiations with a supplier, he said.


Huawei told MyBroadband it values its partnership with Cell C, and that it has been in contact with the operator throughout the last few months.

“Both parties are currently in discussions with regards to solving the matter. We do hope to be back in Cell C soon selling our devices,” said Huawei.

“We will share more details once we are able to.”

The Huawei matter follows Cell C ending a distribution deal with Massmart earlier this year, following the termination of its trading agreement in August 2016.

Cell C terminated its trading agreement with Massmart (Makro, Game, and Dion Wired) as it wanted to build “dedicated distribution channels”.

Cell C said this was part of a move to partner with companies which “share and live Cell C’s values”.

Now read: Blue Label’s big smartphone plans following Cell C deal

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Why Cell C has not sold Huawei smartphones for months