China Square announces arrival of new merchandise amid court battle
China Square, the one stop shop for imported indoor and outdoor goods located at Unicity Mall on Thika Road, on April 18, 2023, announced the arrival of goods from outside the country after weeks of complaints from customers.
In their statement, China Square uploaded a photo of three trailers with large shipping containers on them and unpacked.
“Such an (sp) long wait.🤩,” posted China Square Kenya on Facebook.
Excited Kenyans celebrated the arrival of the imports, with many revealing they could not wait to return to the Thika Road retail store to purchase items they had been waiting long for.
The arrival of the shipping containers comes amid ongoing complaints from potential customers who complained of empty shelves at the outlet for weeks despite all the hype from influencers and satisfied customers who greatly contributed to the excitement of the products sold. Once China Square opened its doors, thousands of Kenyans rushed to the outlet to purchase imported and cheaper household goods.
This frenzy triggered local retailers who claimed that China Square had negatively impacted their businesses because all their customers now preferred to buy cheaper imported goods that are similar to the ones they sold in Kamukunji, Eastleigh and downtown CBD.
For a few weeks, China Square remained closed as the government investigated claims that the outlet was illegally selling some branded items; and confiscated goods worth Sh 50 million from them. The investigations found that the claims were false as China Square were licensed to sell the products, and days later, the outlet was re-opened.
The imports came amid a looming court battle as over 120 Kenyan businessmen sued the Kenya Kwanza government for allowing Chinese enterprises- led by China Square Kenya- to operate in the country, saying it was illegal. The businessmen said they wanted China Square’s operations stopped and were irked by their importing of low-priced goods.
According to reports, the businessmen also wanted Chinese businesses stopped from importing and selling the same goods manufactured in China and the suspension of issuance of work permits and licenses to foreigners. Their lawyer claimed that two million jobs would be at stake if the Chinese continued selling goods in small towns and driving locals out of business.
Amidst this ongoing legal drama, a section of Kenyans was of the opinion that Kenyan businessmen were propagating xenophobia by discriminating against foreign retailers in the country. They also claimed that these businessmen were only upset that Kenyans finally had an alternative to buying goods at cheaper prices compared to the highly marked-up prices Kenyan traders are known for.