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Chinese gov't breaks silence on controversy surrounding China Square store

China has spoken on the recent controversy about China Square which has stirred up emotions among Kenyans and government officials

A collage of China Square investor Cheng Lee and Trade CS Moses Kuria

The Chinese Embassy in Kenya released a statement on March 1, urging the Kenyan government to protect the rights and interests of Chinese enterprises and citizens.

The statement called for the creation of an inclusive and welcoming business environment.

This comes after China Square faced opposition from Trade CS Moses Kuria and investigations by the Anti Counterfeit Authority.


The business hub, which stocks a variety of items, has also become a source of tension between investors and local traders in Nairobi.

The Embassy has taken note of the recent situation on the issue of "China Square", and would like to 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,” the statement read.

The Embassy reiterated that its mission is to enhance China-Kenya cooperation and benefit both countries and their citizens.

The controversy surrounding the closure of China Square began after local traders in Nairobi’s markets such as Nyamakima and Kamukunji accused the business of undercutting them, asking the government for protection.


After opening in January, the store had become an overnight success after Kenyans started recommending it through TikTok where they documented their experiences.

Trade CS Moses Kuria said in a statement that he had given the go-ahead for the mall’s landlord (Kenyatta University) to buy out the lease and hand it over to the Gikomba, Nyamakima, Muthurwa & Eastleigh Traders Association.

Days later, the Anti Counterfeit Authority announced that they were investigating claims of trademark infringement against China Square and seized goods worth Sh50 milllion.

A Kenyan claimed ownership of the trademark for the "Finder" brand name, under which Finder-branded goods are sold at China Square.


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

According to investor Lei Cheng, the business recorded revenues of Sh20 million in the first two weeks and over Sh10 million a day until it was shut down on February 26.


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