Monthly Archives: January 2015

[Africans in China 101]: Mapping out African presence in Guangzhou

General overview of the geographical distribution of Africans (and other foreigners) in the city of Guangzhou, China – from early on my research! (& for beginners:)

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[Music – Documentary] African Hip-Hop Is Bridging Culture Gaps in China

by Sam Sturgis for CityLab from The Atlantic

China Remix looks at African immigrant communities in China’s “Chocolate City,” celebrating the power of rap music to bring communities together.

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The first nonstop flight from Africa to China took off in 2008. It would be reasonable to expect that it was bound for Beijing, the cultural and political capital of China. Or to Shanghai, its financial behemoth. But the flight touched down in lesser-known Guangzhou, China’s third-most populated city, along the southern coast.

Dubbed “The Promised Land,” by the New Yorker in 2009, Guangzhou has become the land of milk and honey for China’s growing population of African immigrants. African businessmen and women ply their crafts along bustling streets. Some own restaurants. Many others work the export-import markets day and night, negotiating deals between Guangzhou and their home cities in Africa. In one neighborhood, Dengfeng, the African community is so dense that it’s commonly referred to as “The Chocolate City.” This is how Evan Osnos, writing for the New Yorker, described a local market called Canaan:

Lining the sidewalks are passport-photo booths, mobile-phone venders, and shops crammed with jeans and T-shirts, alligator-skin cap-toe shoes and made-to-measure suits, soccer jerseys and bulletproof vests (four hundred and ten dollars for blue nylon; five hundred and fifty-six dollars for camouflage). But the real business goes on inside, where merchants cut deals for bogus and factory-reject Prada and Lacoste and Polo. The Canaan economy is all cash and unhindered by borders: “one hundred per cent human hair” extensions are clipped from heads in India, braided by hand in China, and packed for sale in West Africa.

This scene of buzzing economic activity captures the perception that many residents, both Chinese and from elsewhere, have of Guangzhou’s African population: Foreigners in an ardent pursuit of economic gain.

“Existing research has tended to represent these Africans as a mass of traders,” Roberto Castillo, a Guangzhou-based researcher who studies Africans in China,explained in a YouTube videocast. Castillo adds that, “the overarching trading narrative reinforces notions of Africans in the city as merely profit-seeking exporters.” This characterization of an immigrant community strictly guided by Guangzhou’s commercial sector is pretty reductive. [KEEP READING HERE]

[Media Reports] African ambassadors tour Guangdong province

By Julietta Aina for NtaNews

China’s pioneer city in the country’s reform and opening up has mapped out a new path of win-win trade and development with African countries. Guangdong’s capital, Guangzhou has played host to the economic and trade forum for cooperation between the province and African countries.

[Media Reports] China offers high speed trains to African countries

By Julietta Aina for NtaNews

As the Chinese government spends billions more to add more rail lines and expand its fast train services, African representatives in China are calling for more such infrastructures and services in Africa. Julietta Aina who joined some African Ambassadors for the Beijing Shanghai speed train route reports on the ease and convenience of the china speed train.

[Music] ‘China Remix’: Documentary about African musicians in Guangzhou, China

By Melissa Lefkowitz and Dorian Carli-Jones. Featuring: Dibaocha, Flame Ramadan, Manivoo & others.

The city of Guangzhou is home to China’s largest community of African immigrants. Despite facing prejudice and the risk of deportation, three African hip-hop artists strive to change perceptions and achieve a better life in their new land of opportunity.

[Media reports] Many Africans in Guangzhou earn more than local white-collar workers

By Zheng Caixiong for China Daily

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More than 20 percent of African people staying in Guangzhou, Guangdong province, are earning more than 30,000 yuan ($4,838) a month, according to a recent survey by Southern Metropolis Daily.

The newspaper in Guangzhou interviewed 204 people from more than 50 African nations.

Of the 165 interviewees who revealed their monthly income, 37 said they earn more than 30,000 yuan a month doing business in the southern city. The figure is higher than the average income of local white-collar workers.

Many African businesspeople think that Guangzhou has a wide range of good-quality products at competitive prices and that the business environment is getting better, the survey found. More than 50 percent of the African businesses in Guangzhou achieve a profit rate of between 50 and 100 percent.

“A shirt purchased at 50 yuan in Guangzhou can change hands for 100 yuan in my African mother-land,” an African businessman was quoted as saying.

Garments, silks, ceramics, handicrafts, electronics, toys, shoes and watches are the products many African businesspeople like to purchase in Guangzhou and ship to Africa, the survey said. [KEEP READING HERE]