Since the first Chinese shop opened in Cape Verde in 1995, this remote archipelago has experienced a wave of Chinese entrepreneurial immigration that has transformed local retail and significantly affected people’s purchasing power. During this process, Chinese migrants have seen profit margins fall and now complain that there are too many Chinese in Cape Verde. This article explores the migration dynamics that have characterized the pioneer phase of Chinese immigration, and the migrants’ understanding of their own position in relation to the Chinese diaspora. Furthermore, it discusses how the characteristics of the local economy and the resources of the Chinese migrants have interacted to form the basis for Chinese settlement. The article examines the process of market saturation, and relates responses to market saturation to a conceptual framework developed on the basis of literature on Chinese migration to Europe and the former Soviet Union.
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