Good quality or low price? Competition between Cameroonian and Chinese traders

  • Ute Röschenthaler Goethe University Germany


In the past couple of decades, the variety of affordable trade goods in African markets as well as the number of both African and Chinese traders who import such goods from China have grown gradually. Through interviews with travelling traders and observations made in Cameroonian markets, this article examines the trajectories of Cameroonian traders who travel to China, and other Asian countries; it also studies their experiences of rivalry with Chinese traders in Cameroon whom they accuse of unfair competition. This article argues that different categories of Cameroonian traders experience this competition with a different intensity and that travelling traders who are not yet fully established in the local market feel mostly challenged by the competition with Chinese traders. To improve their situation, all traders argue that the Cameroonian government ought to intensify its efforts in regulating trade and reducing customs fees and taxes.