Localization of Chinese Enterprises in Africa

Published on: 2015-01-26



The Chinese presence in Africa is the focus of huge global attention.  The number one political issue imposed on that presence is the claim — mainly by top US politicians and media — that Chinese in Africa refuse to hire Africans and self-isolate in African society.   Addressing the localization issue is a key to understanding “China/Africa.”  Our recently-constructed data set and interviews over a decade among Chinese and Africans in a dozen countries show that these assertions have no empirical basis: Despite cultural disadvantages in comparison to non-Chinese foreign investors, Chinese enterprise workforces are substantially localized and Chinese are at least as present in African society as other migrant populations.  Problems of localization do exist however.  So too do ways to deepen localization and change the political and economic profile of Africa/China interaction.

About the speaker

Barry Sautman (PhD Columbia, JD UCLA, LLM NYU) is a political scientist and lawyer at The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. His main areas of research are China-Africa links and ethnic politics in China. His forthcoming and most recently published monographs, co-authored with Yan Hairong (MA UC Berkeley, PhD University of Washington), an anthropologist at Hong Kong Polytechnic University, are 中国在非洲:话语与实踐 (北京:中国社会科学文獻出版社, 2015) and “The Chinese are the Worst?: Human Rights and Labor Practices in Zambian Mining” in the Maryland Series in Contemporary Asian Studies no. 210 (Baltimore: University of Maryland, 2013) … [More about the speaker here]

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