China Square Director Lei Cheng appeared before the National Assembly Committee on Trade, Industry and Cooperatives on Tuesday and refuted allegations of sabotaging local traders.
Lei, who is popularly known as Charlie, said their aim is to offer affordable prices to Kenyans.
“We have no intention of driving anyone out of the business, we can coexist. We are not underpricing, our prices are not lower than those offered in Eastleigh and Kamukunji markets,” he said.
Lei added: “We just offer competitive pricing to help common mwananchi access goods at affordable prices. We believe in making life affordable to citizens. We want to lower the cost of living down to consumers.”
Through his lawyer, Thomas Letangule, Lei also mentioned that other than creating employment for 150 Kenyans, China Square has contributed to tax revenue.
The Trade Committee heard that since China Square started operating in Kenya in January 2023 after registering in 2022, it has remitted Sh100 million in tax revenue to the Kenya Revenue Authority(KRA).
Lei also mentioned that before China Square set up shop at the Unicity mall, the mall near Kenyatta University was unoccupied for seven years.
“When we conducted our market survey in Kenya in 2016 and noticed that retail products were highly priced. We established a market niche. Because we did not want conflict with local traders, we chose an area outside the city. The building had not been occupied for years before we rented it,” he said.
Mr Lei said China Square imports goods from China and Turkey as well as sourcing products from local manufacturers who make up 30 percent of their suppliers.
He appealed to the National Assembly to help quell the animosity from local traders.
Lei also said China Square has all the relevant licenses including a six-year lease agreement with Kenyatta University.