Chinese law magazine “Rule of Law Weekly” interviewed six Chinese people who are working in Africa. Each individual works in a different country and they all have a story to tell. The following is the second installment in the six-part series.
Rule of Law weekly reporter Gao Yin Translation by Erik Myxter
July 2012, Wang Qing (pseudonym) was sent the North African country Algeria to work as in human resources for a Chinese telecommunications company.
Before arriving, she was worried about disease, but after she arrived she discovered that there was no need to worry. She enjoyed the friendly environment and has since gradually started to enjoy her new life.
In Algeria there are many Chinese companies. The largest companies work mainly in infrastructure such as building bridges, roads and so on. Wang Qing feels that the local people are quite kind to the Chinese here, “They think Chinese people are very hard working.” she said.
Our company has a very mature representation department to handle local affairs, this makes room and board very convenient. Also because it is a Chinese company, the local employs believe that the Chinese workers are the boss, so there isn’t much trouble with communication at work.” she noted.
Wang Qing’s is in constant correspondence with local employees, because of that one must be proficient in English. One also must be well acquainted with local labor laws and personnel policies but even with this knowledge, the company cannot avoid sometimes having to deal with the local labor bureau.
“The local people handle affairs in a laid back manner.” she says.
Although Wang Qing has been involved and familiar with local laws and policies, after she arrived in Africa, the company and her colleagues informed her on some important matters and gave her a formal introduction and training on the local laws and regulations.
This did not have any effect on Wang Qing’s very quick adaptation to Algerian life. “Sometimes Chinese people who live here complain about the food because they cannot eat pork.” she said, “But the thing I love most about here is the non-polluted, blue sky. At first glance the green grasslands looks like the setting for the Lord of the Rings movies.”
The area has incredibly abundant natural resources, but at the same time many local people are out of work, “If they can take full advantages of their resources, the economy will grow very quickly.”
Living in Africa, entertainment activities are limited and not as vibrant as those in China. Living in Algeria took some time to adapt but “When I discovered Africa’s attractive places, I started to fall in love with life here.” she said.
Her time after work is often spent with her fellow co-workers, going out to see the beautiful scenery, walking, or tasting the delicious local food. “At work I have many Algerian colleagues and they have all become good friends of mine.” Wang Qing said.
As for the future, Wang Qing says that she cannot stay in Africa for a long time, “Because I have family (in China)”.
虽然已对工作所涉及到的当地 ” 法律及政策较熟悉，但王青告诉记者，她刚到非洲时，公司和同事告诉自己一些在阿的注意事项，并未正式接受过有关当地” 法律法规的介绍或培训。
- Get a daily email packed with the latest China-Africa news and analysis.
- Read exclusive insights on the key trends shaping China-Africa relations.
- Full access to the News Feed that provides daily updates on Chinese engagement in Africa and throughout the Global South.