- Kenyan Traders protest influx of Chinese traders in Kenya
- Group allege China Square Mall is setting an unhealthy competition for small-scale traders in Kenya.
Over 120 Kenyan traders have filed a case in the high court to stop the operations of China Square Mall, a Chinese-owned shopping center that sells low-priced imported goods in the Kenyan market.
The Indigenous Capital Protection Association, a group representing local traders, is concerned that China Square Mall is selling everyday goods like curtains imported from China at prices up to 50 percent cheaper than those brought in by their Kenyan counterparts.
Kenyan traders sue Government over China square
The traders have sued the government, protesting the influx of Chinese traders, who they claim are undercutting local traders with their low prices.
This move comes after the Nyamakima traders staged a demonstration in the Nairobi central business district in February 2023, protesting the opening of China Square Mall.
Trade Cabinet Secretary Moses Kuria, launched an attack on China Square Mall, stating that the foreign investors have set an unhealthy competition for small-scale traders in Kenya.
“We have not forced anyone to close their business. But I maintain we should not discourage our traders’ have a duty to speak for the Nyamakima trader,”he said.
The case filed by the Indigenous Capital Protection Association seeks to halt the operations of China Square Mall and calls for the government to take action to protect local traders.
Traders raise concern over influx of Chinese traders in Kenya
In recent years, there has been a rise in the number of Chinese traders operating in Kenya, with some Kenyan traders expressing concern about the impact on their businesses.
The Chinese government has invested heavily in Kenya in recent years, with projects such as the Standard Gauge Railway linking Nairobi to Mombasa.
In a statement through the Chinese embassy in Kenya, the Chinese government urged the Kenyan government to protect the business interests and rights of citizens of the two countries.
“The Embassy has taken note of the recent situation on the issue of china square, and would like to re reiterate that the embassy supports deepening trade and investment cooperation between China and Kenya and supports Chinese enterprises and Chinese citizens in conducting business in accordance with Kenyan laws and regulations,”a statement from the Embassy read.
“At the same time, we hope that the Kenyan government will protect the legitimate rights and interests of the Chinese enterprises and Chinese citizens and create inclusive and friendly business environment,”the statement continued.