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Goods worth Sh50M seized from China Square as standoff escalates

The controversy surrounding China Square has taken a new twist after authorities revealed new details of an ongoing investigation into the store

A collage of Trade CS Moses Kuria, China Square Investor Lei Cheng and ACA Regional Manager Ibrahim Bule

China Square store located in Kenyatta University's Unicity mall is facing allegations of business rivalry with a company which has claimed ownership of the trademark for the brand name "Finder," under which Finder-branded goods are sold at China Square.

The Anti-Counterfeit Authority revealed that it is investigating the claims and has seized goods worth Sh50 million from the store for an audit.

On Monday, February 27, as China Square remained closed for the second day, ACA officers spent the better part of the day inside the mall, auditing the products on sale to ascertain the infringement claims.

We have done a search in the place and the investigation is still ongoing. We will be able to give a statement on that after we conclude our investigation,” ACA Regional Manager Ibrahim Bule told the press.

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China Square's legal team said that they are working together with the government and the company to resolve the standoff.

Lawyer Josphine Oyombe added that anti-counterfeit authority officers had visited the premises to check on the goods that had been previously sealed, and they confirmed that all is well.

The store is yet to give a definite timeline as to when the mall will be opened.

In a statement released on February 26, the business announced that it would close to review its operations amid piling pressure from Trade CS Moses Kuria.

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Kuria made it clear that he believes that Chinese investors should focus on manufacturing in Kenya, rather than trading.

I have today given an offer to Prof Wainaina the VC Kenyatta University to buy out the lease for China Square, Unicity Mall and hand it over to the Gikomba, Nyamakima, Muthurwa & Eastleigh Traders Association. We welcome Chinese investors to Kenya but as manufacturers not traders,” Kuria stated.

He then appeared to have changed his mind, offering the business a lifeline provided it shifts its focus to manufacturing.

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“I will assist China Square owner Mr. Cheng to set up a manufacturing plant in Kenya and work on a distribution partnership with Gikomba, Nyamakima, Eastleigh, Kamukunji, Muthurwa and River Road Traders,” he said.

The store which opened on January 29 this year registered sales turnover of Sh20 million within the first two weeks before further growth that saw it sell goods worth Sh10 million on a bad day.

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