Addis Ababa, Ethiopia( CNN Business) One of China's biggest smartphone makers has never sold a handset in the country. Yet thousands of miles away, it predominates markets across Africa. Unknown in the West, Transsion has left global players like Samsung and Apple trailing in its wakein a continent that's home to more than a billion people.

The company took a different track to success from other top Chinese smartphone makers such as Huawei and Xiaomi, which started out in China before eventually expanding overseas.

Transsion built its business in Africa. And it has no plans to come home.