It’s a fact that there’s Chinese people like…everywhere.
The New York Times highlights a wave of Chinese entrepreneurs choosing places like Africa for living and doing business rather than the traditional US and Europe spots like many from the Fujian province.
The article highlights Yang Jie who started an ice cream company in South Africa and now it’s the country’s biggest. He figured in a subtropic climate ice cream would be in high demand. smart guy!
now there’s many stories like that streaming from young guys like Yang.
“Before I left China,” said Mr. Yang, now 25, “I thought Africa was all one big desert.” So he figured that ice cream would be in high demand, and with money pooled from relatives and friends, he created his own factory at the edge of Lilongwe, Malawi’s capital. The climate is in fact subtropical, but that has not stopped his ice cream company from becoming the country’s biggest.
This is not without its downside. Africans may lose out. There may be some tensions and growing anti-Chinese sentiment.
“We expect a large influx of at least 40,000 Chinese in the coming years,” said Renaud Dinguemnaial, director of Chad’s Chamber of Commerce. “This massive arrival could be a plus for the economy, but we are also worried. When they arrive, will they bring their own workers, stay in their own houses, send all their money home?”In Zambia, where anti-Chinese sentiment has been building for several years, merchants at the central market in Lusaka, the capital, said that if Chinese people wanted to come to Africa, they should come as investors, building factories, not as petty traders who compete for already scarce customers for bottom-dollar items like flip-flops and T-shirts.
“The Chinese claim to come here as investors, but they are trading just like us,” said Dorothy Mainga, who sells knockoff Puma sneakers and Harley Davidson T-shirts in the Kamwala Market in Lusaka. “They are selling the same things we are selling at cheap prices. We pay duty and tax, but they use their connections to avoid paying tax.”
That just sounds so very Chinese. Can it change?
On another note…
I love my girl Angelica. That’s me and her at her farewell party.
She’s headed out to Senegal with the peace corps in just a matter of days.
She’s Chinese and she loves Africa. I love that.
Read her blog!