Digital Africa

Africa’s top 40 Digital Leaders: #32 – Zhou Yahui, planting seeds of a digital harvest

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Digital Africa


By Jaysim Hanspal

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Posted on November 17, 2021 13:44

Yahui Zhou, chairman and co-CEO of Opera.
Yahui Zhou, chairman and co-CEO of Opera.

Chinese billionaire Zhou Yahui has been moving his pawns across the digital chessboard for some years; in Africa he part owns OPay, a Nigerian Unicorn, raising $400m for further investment in the fintech space in Africa. He is is #32 in our list of Top African Digital Leaders.

A mobile-money platform also known for its motorcycle-­based delivery service in Lagos, Nigeria, OPay has become one of Africa’s rare unicorns (a startup with a valuation of more than $1bn). The company’s value is estimated at $2bn, after it raised $400m during an August fundraising round that included Japan’s SoftBank.

Opay is part owned by Chinese billionaire Zhou Yahui, founder of Kunlun Tech Co, a web game developer in China.

Zhou ranks #32 in our list of Top African Digital Leaders

OPay is an important company to watch as it is also part of the widening and deepening interest of Chinese players in Africa’s digital space, from telecoms provider StarTimes, to mobile manufacturer Transsion and telecoms big players like Huawei and ZTE.

Zhou controls OPay through Opera, a Norwegian company based in the Cayman Islands. He got his start in the digital sphere by creating a website for

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