Online festival brings African products to China

TAGS: | UPDATETIME: 2023-06-30

A few clicks of the mouse are expected to work wonders for residents in Changsha, Hunan province.

They can have easy and quick access to white wine from South Africa, coffee beans from Ethiopia, and African drums from Guinea.

Aiming at further deepening economic and trade cooperation between China and Africa, as well as promoting the sale of African products in the country, the Online Shopping Festival Featuring Quality African Products kicked off in Yuhua district within the Changsha Area of China (Hunan) Pilot Free Trade Zone on Wednesday.

The e-commerce festival, which will last five days, is being jointly organized by Changsha's commerce bureau and Changsha Yuhua District People's Government.

African products are being sold through livestreaming on popular short-video platform Douyin. There will be more than 100 livestreaming promotional events by time the online shopping festival concludes.

Siyabonga C. Cwele, South Africa's ambassador to China, is one such livestreaming host during the online shopping festival. He has been showcasing high-quality products from Africa to consumers via livestreaming. And his efforts are paying off, as consumers have a better understanding of products from the continent, including red wine and Kenyan tea, leading to a surge in orders.

"This time, we have launched over 10 types of African tea. Place the tea bag in a cup, pour hot water, and you will get a nice cup of tea," said Cwele in the livestreaming room.

Tea is mainly produced in Asia and Africa, regions that account for over 90 percent of the world's total production.

Hong Yong, an associate research fellow at the e-commerce research department of the Ministry of Commerce, said: "The South African ambassador to China serving as a livestreaming host is a novel and interesting way to promote China-Africa trade. It raises consumer interest and understanding of African products, and effectively eliminates information asymmetry."

"Through the online shopping festival, Chinese consumers have a better understanding, and increased exposure of African products. The livestreaming room serves as a convenient and effective channel for China-Africa trade, offering opportunities to further explore trade between the two parties," he said.

The online shopping festival has helped five renowned local companies form strategic partnerships for a sales alliance to boost the import of high-quality African products to Hunan, a province in Central China.

For example, Own Master, a local coffee chain brand, uses online platforms to communicate directly with African coffee plantation owners. This helps simplify the transaction process and allows African coffee to reach people's homes directly.

Data from the National Development and Reform Commission showed that in the first three months of this year, trade between China and Africa surged 14.1 percent year-on-year to 473.6 billion yuan ($65.4 billion). China remains Africa's largest trade partner.

German market intelligence platform Statista estimated that 388 million people in Africa were shopping online until last year, and the figure is forecast to rise to 600 million by 2027.

Source: China Daily