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How Africans pursue low-end globalization in Hong Kong and Mainland China

[journal article]

Mathews, Gordon; Yang, Yang

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Abstract This article looks at the livelihoods and lives of African traders coming to Hong Kong and Guangzhou. These traders are practising "low-end globalization", involving small amounts of capital, and semi-legal or illegal transactions under the radar of the law. The article first considers who these traders are, portraying them as, typically, members of the upper crust of their home societies. It then considers these traders in Chungking Mansions, Hong Kong, a building that is an entrepôt between China and the developing world. Finally, it looks at traders' livelihoods and lives in Guangzhou, South China, and traders' efforts to succeed in mainland China. The article argues that one essential economic role China plays today is in manufacturing the cheap, sometimes counterfeit goods that enable Africa and other developing-world regions to experience globalization; the African traders who come to China help make this possible.
Keywords Africa; migration; commerce; China; Hong Kong; livelihood; globalization; Far East
Classification Migration, Sociology of Migration; Ethnology, Cultural Anthropology, Ethnosociology
Free Keywords low-end globalization; contemporary
Document language English
Publication Year 2012
Page/Pages p. 95-120
Journal Journal of Current Chinese Affairs, 41 (2012) 2
ISSN 1868-4874
Status Published Version; peer reviewed
Licence Creative Commons - Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works