Business practices and social relations of Chinese entrepreneurs in Luanda


Cheryl Mei-ting Schmitz

Publication date: 

Friday, 17 January 2014


External to ACUI

Project theme: 

Cheryl Mei-ting Schmitz is a PhD Candidate in Sociocultural Anthropology at the University of California, Berkeley, currently conducting fieldwork in Luanda, Angola. Her dissertation research explores the business practices and social relations of Chinese entrepreneurs in Luanda. It examines how Chinese economic migrants in Angola mitigate the risks they encounter in their transnational business activities and how they navigate Angolan social, cultural, and political fields. The research is additionally concerned with how Angolans in Luanda experience 'Chineseness,' how a recently established Chinese presence is located within the social and political imaginary of post-war Angola, and how Chinese activity is seen as producing certain economic effects in Angola. By conducting immersive participant observation with a medium-sized Chinese company involved in sectors ranging from construction to retail, she hopes to reach an in-depth understanding of how complex relationships between Angolan, Chinese, and other actors cut across conceptual boundaries between public/private or economic/social/political. Moreover, the study should give insight as to how a partnership between 'China' and 'Angola' is experienced at the level of everyday life.