China and Africa have a long history of economic cooperation. However, there still exists controversy that China’s strong productivity hampers African exports from its huge and promising market, and the trade imbalance between the two sides is deteriorating. Generally speaking, African manufacturing is not able to compete with its counterpart in China. However, the niche market of African handicrafts may enjoy some peculiarities. To help African crafts have better access to the Chinese market, this research estimates its market potential and formulates some marketing strategies.
Based on 10 in-depth interviews and 224 questionnaires covering potential customers and other interest stakeholders, this research finds that African handicrafts own both strengths and weaknesses in terms of entering the Chinese market. The favorable political relationships between China and Africa and the huge potential of the Chinese market indicate positive prospects for the handicrafts. However, there are still some obstacles that need to be addressed, including quality and price issues, E-commerce platform deficiency, cultural differences, and fierce competition from Chinese handicrafts.