Beyond the small businesses that attract Africans in Guangzhou—the so-called ‘Chocolate city’ in China because of the large number of Africans who live there—African companies have made considerable investments in China. By 2012, Africans had invested a cumulative $14.2 billion in China, a 43% increase from the $9.9 billion invested by 2009.
In 2012 alone, the amount of direct investments from Africa to China was about $1.4 billion, mostly in petro-chemical, manufacturing, wholesale and retailing industries. Some of the top African investors in China came from Mauritius, South Africa, Seychelles and Nigeria, according to the White Paper on Economic and Trade Cooperation between China and Africa published by the Chinese government.
For example, not many people outside China have heard about Snow beer, the world’s best-selling beer by sales volume, because it is produced and sold only in China. Even fewer are aware that an African company, the South African Breweries (SABMiller), runs Snow beer as a joint venture with a Chinese firm and produces many other popular Chinese beer brands as well.