Africa’s leading e-commerce platform Jumia said opening a third-party platform to the Chinese market has become its strategic focus amid booming Africa-China trade.
Jumia CEO Jeremy Hodara told Xinhua in a recent interview that they are actively recruiting Chinese sellers, as the platform wishes to explore the African market and build a bridge for China-Africa market cooperation.
“China’s products are widely welcomed and recognized in Africa, but many Chinese brands have no sales channels in Africa, which gives us an opportunity to cooperate in the market,” said Hodara, who last month visited Beijing, Shenzhen and Shanghai to meet with suppliers there.
“We hope to work with Chinese merchants to make the African market bigger and stronger,” he said.
Known as “Alibaba in Africa” or “African Amazon,” Jumia has built an ecosystem including e-commerce platforms, payment, logistics, take-out and hotel reservations to cover 14 African countries. Hodara said the platform will learn from Alibaba and Amazon to tap into the continent’s huge e-commerce potential.
Jumia has reached cooperation deals with Chinese brands such as Huawei, Xiaomi, Skyworth and Haier. In March, the company announced a partnership with tech firm Xiaomi to house the latter’s flagship store on its e-commerce platform and to receive full sales authorization for Xiaomi products in the African market, including the Redmi Go smartphones.
The African continent, with a population of 1.2 billion and about 17 million small- and medium-sized enterprises, is attracting Chinese brands, while Chinese products boasting price advantages and cost-effectiveness are well received in Africa, according to the CEO.
The advent of Chinese companies also benefits Africa’s own development, said Hodara, citing the example of Konka, a Chinese consumer electronics manufacturer.
“For example, Konka has a factory in Africa, and we’re working together to make the market bigger. It will promote Konka’s investment in Africa and also boost the local economy.”