Chinese people in Lesotho

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Chinese people in Lesotho
Total population
5,000 (2010 estimate)[1]
Regions with significant populations
Related ethnic groups
Overseas Chinese

As in much of Africa, a large number of Chinese people have settled in Lesotho in a short period to primarily run small businesses.[2]


In 1991, a local woman was beaten to death by security guards at a South African owned store. The event led to a nationalist outcry among the poor urban underclass in Maseru, who targeted foreign businesses run by South Koreans and Taiwanese, and also the businesses of Lesotho nationals of Indian descent.[3]


One of the biggest industries is textiles, a sector largely operated by Taiwanese expatriates.[4]

Integration and community[edit]

Throughout Lesotho, in the smallest towns there are Chinese small businesses.[2]

A report by The Economist noted that even in the "remotest" part of Lesotho, Mokhotlong, Chinese business owners had achieved a notable presence, operating a petrol station, the Hui Hua supermarket, the Hua Tai ironmonger, Ji Li Lai general store, Fu Zhong hardware and furniture wholesaler, and other businesses. The intention of the article was to illustrate that "Even in the farthest backwaters of Africa, the Chinese are moving in."[4]

In November 2007, rioting broke out in the capital as native traders attacked Chinese owned businesses.[2] Some opposition politicians and radio stations push an anti-Chinese position.[2]

The chairman of the Chinese Business Association of Lesotho argues that the Chinese are a well integrated community who speak the local language and interact well with locals.[2] Some opposition politicians and radio stations push an anti-Chinese position.[2]

There are widespread complaints against Chinese businesses. A Lesotho Times editorial declared Chinese products are shoddy and businesses do not follow laws.[5]