African e-commerce firm Jumia anticipates Chinese sellers

LONDON, UK — Africa’s top e-commerce platform Jumia said introducing a third-party platform to the Chinese market has become its strategic focus amid booming Africa-China trade.

Jeremy Hodara, Jumia CEO said 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.

Hodara, who last month visited Beijing, Shenzhen and Shanghai to meet with suppliers there, said: “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.”

“We hope to work with Chinese merchants to make the African market bigger and stronger,” he added.

Regarded as the “Alibaba in Africa” or the “African Amazon,” Jumia has built an ecosystem including e-commerce platforms, payment system, 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 collaboration deals with Chinese brands such as Huawei, Xiaomi, Skyworth and Haier.

In March this year, the company declared 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.

Africa, with an estimated population of 1.2 billion and more than 17 million small- and medium-sized enterprises, is an attraction to Chinese goods and brands.

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Michael Harrington

Michael Harrington is a researcher and senior contributing reporter with Globe Afrique Media.
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