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There are an increasing number of small African traders operating business in China and developing the “China-Africa Supply Chain.” While this has contributed to the China-Africa relationship and the “globalization from below phenomenon,” there is surprising little research that has been undertaken to explore and analyze this development. In this study, we investigate how small African and Chinese traders engage in business, including managing cross-cultural communications and adapting to social norms, cultural values, and new institutional environments. Our findings indicate that agile and flexible small traders using traditional values and strong networks can thrive within globalization. Small African and Chinese traders in China expect to endure as global exporters and, by doing so, are strengthening ties between China and Africa.

Photo: Getty Images/scibak

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