Transnational business networks of African intermediaries in China: Practices of networking and the role of experiential knowledge

  • Angelo Müller University of Kiel, Department of Geography, Ludewig-Meyn-Str. 14, 24098 Kiel
  • Rainer Wehrhahn University of Kiel, Department of Geography, Ludewig-Meyn-Str. 14, 24098 Kiel

Abstract

Chinese cities like Hong Kong, Guangzhou or Yiwu have become major ports of call for Sub-Saharan African traders active in the import-export trade of Chinese goods to Africa. This study highlights the role of African intermediaries in the city of Guangzhou, who work as negotiators within the Sino-African trade system. Between 2008 and 2011 33 case studies were conducted, using qualitative interviews and participatory observations. A qualitative network approach was used to investigate the intermediaries’ business practices as they build up multi-local economic relations. Different forms of knowledge embodied in the business practices were of special interest for this paper. Results
show the importance of multi-local forms of organisation across different nations and ethnic boundaries as well as the relevance of experiential knowledge for the success of these organisational forms. The findings may open up a research perspective on the organisation of transnational migrant business networks.
How to Cite
Müller, A., & Wehrhahn, R. (1). Transnational business networks of African intermediaries in China: Practices of networking and the role of experiential knowledge. DIE ERDE – Journal of the Geographical Society of Berlin, 144(1), 82-97. Retrieved from https://www.die-erde.org/index.php/die-erde/article/view/6
Section
Research articles