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Africa

On African children singing Happy Birthday for Chinese, exploitation checks are key

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 10 May, 2018, 4:12pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 10 May, 2018, 4:12pm

I refer to the report, “Videos of African children giving personalised birthday greetings sold on Chinese e-commerce websites divide opinion” (May 6). To be frank, I think it is a creative business idea. 

I have seen these kinds of video on social media and they are very popular. I know that some Chinese are volunteer workers in Africa. They take funny videos with the locals, for example, teaching children to speak Chinese and having them try Chinese food. In my opinion, it is good if they can earn some money this way. 

Moreover, interacting with Chinese is good for Africans, as those who have Chinese language skills may find it easier to find a job at the many Chinese firms in the region. 

However, it is important to ensure that this does not involve exploitation. As the article said, one seller of such greeting videos posted footage of bread, bananas, new trainers and toys being distributed to the children. But we do not know if that is true. We also do not know if the children are being abused. 

It is important that these kinds of businesses execute checks to ensure that vulnerable and impoverished children are not being exploited.

Chloe Man, Kwai Chung