Guangzhou makes me feel at home
“The Guangzhou we saw on TV is not what you see when you truly arrive. Guangzhou is different from cities in Africa, America and Europe and there are many old houses and old people here. It is a good place that accommodates so many nice people”, Aly recalled this was his impression when he landed at Baiyun Airport for the first time, after 17-hour flight from Bamako, the capital of Mali, to Guangzhou.
During the first few days starting up his business in Guangzhou, Aly always went to Xiao Bei where many Africans went to purchase goods. He helped them book hotels and call a taxi because he spoke Chinese very well.
“Consequently, they wanted to exchange contacts and make friends with me. They asked me if I could help them buy goods.”
Now, as e-commerce is booming in China, he prefers to use online channels more often as it takes much less time and it is more convenient. He showed us several cellphone apps, such as Taobao, 1688 and Pinduoduo that he found recently from a TV advertisement.
“These have been a great help to me,” he said with much delight, “I don’t even have to leave my office or house.”
Aly doing business with a local supplier in Dashatou [Photo/Steven, Newsgd.com]
For work, Aly will go to almost everywhere around the Pearl River Delta to find goods that really meet his demand, just like locals. He will go to Dashatou which is not far from his home. He used to go to Shenzhen to purchase electrical devices in large quantities. For furniture and office supplies orders, he believed Foshan offers better alternatives.
“Guangzhou has now become a big market for Africans, well known by many foreigners”.
In the eyes of Aly, Guangzhou is now more than a Mecca of business, “I feel like it is my second home, I can be myself here.”
Reported by Keane & December
Edited by Olivia & Simon