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TikTok Launches 50 Free Wi-Fi Hotspots in South Africa

TikTok Launches 50 Free Wi-Fi Hotspots in South Africa


TikTok, owned by China’s ByteDance, said on Thursday it is piloting 50 free Wi-Fi hotspots in communities across South Africa.

The Short-video social media platform TikTok, owned by China’s ByteDance, said on Thursday it is piloting 50 free Wi-Fi hotspots in communities across South Africa.

The pilot programme, which is being rolled out by public Wi-Fi provider ThinkWiFi, will see the free hotspots deployed in Soweto, Gugulethu, Khayelitsha and Bushbuckridge.

In a statement, Fortune Mgwili-Sibanda, director of government relations and public policy for sub-Saharan Africa at TikTok, said: “With this pilot, we hope to encourage more people to join digital spaces such as ours, to not only create content but to learn new skills and educate fellow community members about their passion and interests.”

The TikTok Wi-Fi hotspot pilot is expected to run for six months. The parties did not say what outcomes they’d need to see for the offering to be made permanent.

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“This is a move by the entertainment platform to drive awareness and advocacy relating to the digital divide and the need for digital literacy inclusion for all communities,” a statement on the initiative said.

The launch of the pilot coincides with World Literacy Day and its theme of “Transforming Literacy Learning Spaces”, focusing on the stagnant growth in Internet penetration.

“We understand that as an entertainment platform accessible on mobile devices, TikTok plays an important role in the digital world,” said TikTok director for government relations and public policy in Sub-Saharan Africa, Fortune Mgwili-Sibanda.

Also Read: Facebook, Tik Tok, Others Forced to Consider Child Safety, Mental Health –  California Lawmakers Pass Bill

“With this pilot, we hope to encourage more people to join digital spaces such as ours, to not only create content but to learn new skills and educate fellow community members about their passion and interests.”

ThinkWiFi CEO Janine Rebelo said the Internet offered “endless” opportunities for South Africa’s youth, but many did not have access to digital hardware, digital literacy skills, or connectivity.

“The latter reality is exacerbated by the high cost of data and the limited availability of infrastructure to support broadband penetration targets,” Rebelo stated.

About Bukola Olanrewaju

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