Xuchang City, Henan Province, central China – April 12, 2019 (CCTV) – Chinese wigs have grown in popularity in foreign countries, especially in Africa, thanks to high-quality and delicate craftsmanship.
Jessica, a 22-year-old Congolese woman, is one of many who frequently purchase wigs from China and sell them in her country.
“I come three times a year and when I come, I pick 10,000 pieces, and it cost me 200,000 U.S. dollars,” Jessica said.
Closer relationships and more in-depth cooperation between China and African countries in recent years have seen more and more Chinese wigs being imported to Africa.
In 2017, China exported 3.2 billion dollars worth of hair products, with Africa being its second-largest market with a 34-percent share.
“The trading volume of wigs in European and American markets increase some 50 percent year on year. But it’s up by 100 to 300 percent year on year in the African market,” said Ni Qianqing, manager of Wig Sector, AliExpress, an online retail service based in China that is owned by Alibaba,
Shen Dalei, general manager of Henan Aoyuan Hair Products Co., Ltd, said that his company was outsourcing wigs five years ago; however, the business of selling wigs to Africa in 2018 had climbed by over 200 percent, thanks to the rapid development of the e-commerce sector.
“Our business in B2C has mushroomed since the second half of 2017, and our customers are from 100-plus countries after starting from a minimal number of countries when we first started. We mainly sell our products to African countries,” said Shen.
Although many synthetic hair products are still the best sellers in many African countries, human hair products are attracting more and more African customers who are willing to and can afford to spend more.
China’s wig business, a typical labor-intensive industry, also brings jobs and growth opportunities to African countries, according to Wang Fenrong, secretary general of the Sub-Chamber of Wigs at the China Chamber of Commerce for Import and Export of Light Industrial Products and Arts-Crafts.
And the future of the business is even more promising. With its stable economic growth and rising living standards, Africa is expected to become one of the biggest hair product markets in the world, Wang said.