Rwandese builds wealth buying Chinese goods on behalf of Africans

An African man earns 100,000 yuan ($14,150) a month through shopping on behalf of 10,000 to 20,000 people in his home country of Rwanda, people in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and even Chinese people in Rwanda.

An Ping (his Chinese name) is a student from a vocational school in east China’s Zhejiang province. When people ask him to buy commodities in China, they first download pictures of the products they are interested in from Alibaba and Taobao, and then text the photos to him.

In the eyes of the African people, the Chinese products, including souvenirs, shoes, bags, laptops and smart phones, are cost-effective, said An. Normally, he is asked to buy 30,000 yuan worth of Chinese goods for African people per week. During shopping festivals in China, the figure soars.

For instance, he bought 60,000 yuan worth of goods online during the pre-sale period of the Chinese shopping spree that falls on Nov. 11 of each year.

E-commerce is underdeveloped in Rwanda, An said, adding that he learned to shop online after he came to China. “I like Zhejiang, where I learned about the culture of China and the way of doing business,” he said.

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