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Shock and Dismay in South Africa After Discovery of “Slave-Like” Conditions in Chinese-owned Factory

South Africa's Home Affairs Minister, Aaron Motsoaledi, was visibly shaken when describing the "inhumane and unspeakable conditions" in a plastics factory owned by a Chinese national that was raided by security forces on Monday. An informant tipped ...

Analysis from Cobus van Staden

The G7’s New Infrastructure Initiative Could Strengthen China’s Global South Game: Experts

The G7’s new Partnership for Global Infrastructure Investment (PGII), a $600 billion plan to build infrastructure across the Global South and counter China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), could have the effect of improving how Chinese companies do business and could end up improving the BRI itself, according to development experts. 

Some acknowledged that the BRI has been controversial for its environmental and debt impacts. But they also pointed out ...

Lights On: Prospects for Renewable Energy in Southern Africa Amid Pandemic and Debt Distress

By Cecilia Springer and Magalie Masamba A November 2020 report found the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region could achieve full energy access and 53% renewable energy (RE) installed capacity by 2040 with an investment of nearly $53 billion.

Despite Controversy, the Video Industry Exposed by the BBC’s Racism Documentary Is Thriving

Even as Chinese diplomats scramble to distance themselves from the trade in videos featuring African children coached to repeat demeaning phrases in Mandarin, the “well-wishing video” industry exposed by the recent BBC documentary “Racism for Sale” is going strong. The China-watcher ...

China’s Censors Catch Up with Discussions of BBC Racism Expose

China’s censors are now cracking down on online discussions sparked by the BBC documentary “Racism for Sale.” The program exposes the trade in online videos in which African children are tricked into repeating demeaning phrases in Mandarin. 

Reports: Man at the Center of the Racism for Sale Controversy Arrested in Zambia

According to Chinese news reports, the Chinese national at the center of a brewing controversy over the exploitation of young children in Malawi in the production of viral videos for the Chinese market has been arrested in Zambia. Lu Ke was ...

BBC Documentary Sparks More Reflective, Less Racist Discussion on Chinese Social Media

It took a few days, but the BBC Africa documentary "Racism for Sale," which showcased the trend of Chinese merchants selling offensive videos online that exploit Africans, finally made it over the Great Firewall and is now the subject of lively online discussions. ...

TRANSLATION: Please Stop Now! Stop Exploiting African Children!!!

"Africa Bob" (波布非洲) is a popular Chinese commentator and content creator about African issues on WeChat. The following is a summary translation of his post that reflects on the controversy about the exploitation of African (Malawi) children used to produce short form videos by Chinese merchants. ...

China’s Top Diplomat for Africa Vows to Crack Down on Offensive Videos After Meeting With Malawi FM

China's top diplomat for Sub-Saharan Africa, Wu Peng, arrived in Lilongwe on Tuesday and tried to quell surging anger in the country over revelations in a new BBC documentary that showed how Chinese nationals in Malawi exploited children to produce offensive videos. ...

Insider Explains Why Exploitative Videos Exposed by BBC Will Continue to Flourish Unless Chinese Government Bans Them

Just as the algorithms on U.S. digital media platforms like YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter are all optimized to display the most outrageous, inflammatory content in pursuit of higher engagement, the same is true in China. The so-called "blessing videos" featured in ...

Malawi Foreign Minister: “We Are Disgusted, Disrespected and Deeply Pained”

Following a BBC Africa investigation, Malawian ministers condemned the practice of using young children to produce highly exploitative videos that are then sold on Chinese social media platforms. "We are feeling disgusted, disrespected, and deeply pained," 

Chinese Embassy in Malawi Responds to Video Controversy With Disingenuous Statement

The Chinese embassy in Malawi's response to the escalating controversy over the exploitative videos uncovered in a new BBC Africa documentary did little to appease critics. The brief statement, published only on its official Twitter account, broadly condemned racism ...
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