Two months after China Square, a shopping hub located inside UniCity, opened its doors, the business has caused a paradigm shift in the trade industry with the majority shifting allegiance towards Chinese-based trade.
In a media interview, Lei Cheng, China Square proprietor, affirmed that he made over Ksh20 million in his first two weeks in business since opening on January 29, 2023.
He also revealed that his daily sales have more than doubled from January 2023- indicating that he sells goods worth Ksh10 million on a low business day.
The ambitious entrepreneur attributed his success to three key factors; genius market pricing, chance social media marketing, and referral clients.
“We opened this store on January 29 this year. We are barely a month old. In the first two weeks in business, our sales turnover was Ksh20 million. Nowadays, on a bad day we sell goods worth Ksh10 million,” he told Nation.
The 37-year-old noted that he capitalized on the opportunity whereby the Kenyan market was saturated with ‘overpriced’ goods.
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In a rejoinder to Trade Cabinet Secretary Moses Kuria’s intentions to lock out Chinese traders from his business, Cheng affirmed that he had effectively and legitimately disrupted the market hence breaking the monopoly.
“My business is legal and is centred on healthy competition. We have cooperated with all government directives for opening a business in Kenya and we are here to break the monopoly. The people who are fighting us feel threatened because Kenyans now know we exist and we are not exploiting them in pricing,” he noted.
“If other foreigners can do business in Kenya so can Chinese because we have done nothing wrong. Our customers are happy because we have drastically reduced our prices. Business is about serving customers and they have been our biggest referral,” he added.
The graduate in International Trade from a South African University noted that he birthed the idea of China Square after a visit to the country in September 2022.
The business owner was surprised after a routine visit to a local supermarket as he claimed that most items on the shelves had exorbitant prices that he knew very well were imported from China.
Looking to seize the opportunity, Cheng returned to his home country and roped in some Chinese suppliers before coming back to Kenya and establishing China Square in January 2023.
Despite creating employment opportunities for over 130 people, the embattled China Square owner announced a temporary closure on Sunday, February 26, to re-evaluate their business model.