China Square Reopens After Tiff with Trade CS Kuria

China Square has reopened its Unicity Mall store a week after indefinite closure. The Chinese-owned store had shut down its operations following criticism from the CS for Trade, Moses Kuria, and local traders for allegedly undercutting the latter.

Chinese Business Community in Talks With Kenya government

According to a statement issued by the Kenya Chinese Chamber of Commerce (KCCC), China Square was permitted to reopen on Monday, March 6, 2023. The announcement followed repeated talks between the China and Kenya governments. 

https://mobile.twitter.com/KenyaChinese/status/1632648190611668992/photo/1

The KCCC expressed satisfaction with the good news and thanked the Kenya government for making it possible for the local Chinese community to conduct business and support Kenya’s growth and development activities.

KCCC also called for equitable and fair treatment of all merchants across the board to guarantee a favourable business climate for everyone and to build amicable connections based on mutual trust and benefit.

The Chinese community also stated that it would continue supporting partnerships between Kenya and China to promote investment, commerce and tourism between the two nations.

China Square, which opened in January, quickly gained popularity among Nairobi and other residents for affordable goods. The local downtown Nairobi business community, better known as Nyamakima traders, however, found this traction unsatisfactory, and subsequently organized protests against the foreign trader.

Chinese goods overpriced in Kenya

In an interview with Nation Media Group, Mr Lei, lead investor of China Square, expressed that his motivation to run the store stemmed from exorbitant prices observed on goods in local supermarkets. 

While on a regular trip to a local supermarket, he lamented that most of the affordable items imported from his native China had been marked up to premium prices. This observation presented an opportunity to build a store in Kenya that offered affordable Chinese goods. In the first two weeks of opening its doors, Mr. Lei claims to have raked in profits of KSh20 million.

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