Online shopping festival fosters China-Africa trade ties
By Bi Ran

The 4th Brand and Quality Online Shopping Festival and Quality African Products Online Shopping Festival, hosted by the Chinese Ministry of Commerce, concluded on Thursday. The event has featured diverse e-commerce interactions, allowing Chinese customers to enjoy high-quality products from 23 African countries.

The two-week shopping festival for African goods in China drew in more than 100,000 brands from over 1 million merchants, bringing together 300 e-commerce platforms from both sides. It's an example of how cross-border e-commerce has played a crucial role in boosting consumption and promoting import-export trade.

"We've collaborated with multiple e-commerce platforms to launch over 100 livestreaming activities online. So far, total sales are close to $3 million," said Zhang Dan, manager with E-Commerce Department of Hunan Gaoqiao Grand Market.

Central China's Hunan Province has engaged many local digital commerce professionals and African partners actively in live-streaming, marketing, digital transactions, and supply chain operations during the shopping festival.

The province is home to four cross-border e-commerce pilot zones and six digital business pilot cities. Data suggests that in 2021, cross-border e-commerce trade in Hunan rose 89 percent year on year, ranking fifth in China and even surpassing the national average.

Boukete Grace is a student based in Changsha city. He joined the shopping festival this year as a livestreamer. 

Boukete Grace is a professional livestreamer. /CGTN

Boukete Grace is a professional livestreamer. /CGTN

"Now the internet or the e-commerce is booming, and we need this opportunity also. Because in Africa, sometimes we have so many products, but we don't have so many people who know about the products. In China, through livestreaming, many people would know the products. So we can introduce them to many people. I think it's very important not only for China, but also for the African economy," he told CGTN.

Yi Yi, manager of Import Department of local e-commerce company KiliMall, said that their platform launched a short-video event for this shopping festival. "In Africa, we are working with influencers and customers online to invite them to recommend African products. And we've collaborated with offline stores there to promote the event. Tens of thousands of fans in Africa joined our activity," she added.

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