The evolving perspectives on the Chinese labour regime in Africa

Abstract

This article explores the logics, persistence and evolution of perspectives on the Chinese labour regime in Africa. Studies find that Chinese firms’ labour practices engender abuse via casualisation of labour, low remuneration, and a general lack of adherence to occupational safety. Contrarian studies however demonstrate variations among Chinese firms’ labour practices as mediated by the labour dynamics of host countries, labour specificities and industrial capitalism dynamics. The article concludes by questioning the ‘talent gap’ dynamic in Africa in relation to Chinese firms’ managerial hiring practices and calls for an engaged scholarship on how Chinese investment in Africa’s human resource base is altering the ‘talent gap’ phenomenon

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