The Sunday Mail
Fatima Bulla in Beijing China
CHINA is counting losses of a tarnished image caused by businesses and intermediaries that are exporting poor quality products into African markets.
The second largest economy expressed concern at the negative reputation it has attained over years in Africa primarily because of ‘dumping’ sub-standard products at the expense of its quality offerings.
A cross-section of the African populace has been left bitter because of losses after parting with hard earned money for Chinese products that do not last long.
Such variety of products which include clothing, furniture, electric gadgets among a host of others.
Addressing journalists at a press conference in Beijing last Wednesday, Director General of the Department of African Affairs in the Ministry of Foreign affairs, Mr Dai Bing said:
“You mentioned some counterfeit products where imported from China to African, I do not deny that. But I would like to say there are two contributing factors, first some Chinese businessmen exported or brought those counterfeit products to African countries.
“On the other hand, the African agencies or intermediaries import these low quality cheap products from China.
“They actually order these cheap quality products and then sell with a higher price in Africa.
“This actually damages the image of Chinese products in Africa. And I am sure you also agree with me that these are the two contributing factors.”
Highlighting that some of the low quality fraudulent products no-longer existed in the Chinese market, Mr Dai gave an example of a cell phone brand, Techno which failed to compete on the Chinese market but has found clientele in Africa.
“You mentioned that people would think that Chinese products are of low quality overall. I do not agree. I know that in Africa there is a Chinese cell phone called Techno, a Chinese brand.
“And these Chinese brands take about 40 percent of the market share in Africa but you cannot find this cell phone in China because this cell phone cannot compete with other Chinese brands in the China market.
“So at the current stage some Chinese products which are of substandard quality come into Africa,” Mr Dai who is also the Secretary General of the Follow up Committee on Forum on China-Africa Cooperation said.
“China has a lot of advanced technologies and products for example Huawei phones, high speed railways, some aerospace and aviation, technologies is first class in the world. But we still need time to nourish the African market. (To know) what kind of products are actually needed on the African market.
“Maybe it is some unavoidable phenomena in the growth of our relations but I am confident that as we improve and upgrade relations in particular after stepping up market regulation these kind of phenomena will become less and less in the future,” added Mr Dai.