The Chinese Super League has become an attractive top-flight competition for players from around the world thanks to the lucrative contracts being offered to those willing to call China their new home.
The recent list of world class players dedicating their immediate futures to a new soccer adventure in China has boosted the league, with numerous African players making the decision to join clubs in the country.
The new season began this last week, and more Africans than ever before are gracing pitches across China with the aim of personal and team glory on their minds.
We take a look at 12 African soccer professionals who are now playing in the lucrative Chinese Super League.
Sources: BBCSport, TrueAfrica, AfricanFootball, TheSun, Yibada.
In March 2016 the Ivorian star left Serie A club Roma to start a new adventure in China with Hebei Fortune, with a basic wage of around $200,000 per week adding to massive appearance and goal bonuses, making it worth the former Arsenal player’s while financially.
Super Eagles striker Odion Ighalo confirmed his move from Watford in the English Premier League to Chinese club Changchun Yatai on transfer deadline day. A fee of $24.8 million was paid for the transfer; with an additional $6.2 million to be paid to Watford depending on the player’s performances in China.
Nigeria national team captain John Obi Mikel made a move to Chinese Super League club Tianjin TEDA from Chelsea at the beginning of the year. The 29-year-old will now earn $170,000 a week, according to local media reports. Chelsea released him on a free transfer, cancelling the final six months of his contract to facilitate the move.
Cameroon winger and 2017 AFCON player of the tournament Christian Bassogog recently completed a transfer from Danish club Aab Fodbold to Chinese Super League side Henan Jianye. The 21-year-old decided to accept a move to China reported to be worth around $8.7 million, which represents a record transfer for the Danish club.
At the beginning of 2016 Chinese Super League team Hebei China Fortune signed Cameroonian midfielder Stephane Mbia on a three-year deal for an undisclosed transfer fee from Turkish Süper Lig club Trabzonspor.
Nigerian striker Brown Ideye is one of the latest additions to the list of professionals swapping Europe for China. The Super Eagles attacker has completed a deal that will see him playing alongside national team captain Mikel at Tianjin Teda. The 28-year-old has made the decision to leave Greek side Olympiakos in favour of a three-year deal in China
Kenyan international Michael Olunga is another African player who recently traded European soccer for the Far East. The 22-year-old joined Guizhou Zhicheng earlier this year, and will aim to prove himself in the new season.
Senegalese striker Papiss Cisse is another of the mini galaxy of African stars who now call China home, playing for Shandong Luneng in the top-flight. The 31-year-old who has scored 16 goal for Senegal joined in 2016 from Newcastle United.
Nigerian 26-year-old Anthony Ujah is another of the West African contingent in the Chinese Super League. He joined Liaoning Whowin in 2016 and as a striker has been fairly successful in China.
After successful stints in Italy, England, Spain and the MLS in America, Martins decided it was time to try his luck in China, joining Shanghai Shenhua in 2016, where he has impressed with his pace and goalscoring ability.
Tianjin Teda has a real appreciation for African players, and another of the stars from the continent on their books is Mbaye Diagne. His stay in China has been successful, scoring often for his top-flight side as a striker who was formerly owned by Serie A giants Juventus.
The Gabon international is only 24, which until recently would have been considered young for an African in the Chinese Super League. He plays for Tianjin Teda, and is touted as a striker of exceptional quality, having played for his national team since 2012.