China will offer tariff free access to its massive consumer market to six African countries on 98% of imported goods, its finance ministry announced on Wednesday, as the Asian giant seeks to extend its economic influence across the continent.

From Dec. 25, Angola, Gambia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Madagascar, Mali and Mauritania will all be able to sell to the world's second-largest economy without paying tariffs on over 8,000 different tariff lines, the statement said. (Reporting by Joe Cash and Albee Zhang; Editing by Christopher Cushing)