Growing opposition to Chinese businesses in Samoa

racism

Last week Samoa’s Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi said he wants to protect local businesses from the increasing numbers of Chinese-owned businesses.

He alluded to changing the regulations to keep smaller retail operations for Samoan business people only.

He acknowledged there was growing resentment among local business owners over overseas operators, but  he encouraged them to learn from the Chinese about operating profitable businesses.

Earlier in the month Moata’a village had joined a growing list of Samoan villages that have banned Asian-owned businesses from opening.

James Zhuang has been in Samoa for more than five years and working at his father’s store in Apia.

He planned to expand his business by opening a shop in Moata’a.

“However, the day the store was supposed to open, the Moata’a village council stepped in and that’s when everything changed,” said Zhuang.

Zhuang claims he is the victim of racism. “I know I am a Chinese man, and that is why the village does not allow me to open my store, yet other Samoans have opened up new shop in Moata’a.”

“I will bring no harm to the village; I will abide by the rules and regulations of the village council.”

Paramount chief, Asi Blakelock told the Sunday Samoan the landlord is one of his chiefs.

He said the landlord  should have consulted the Village Council first before he made a deal with Zhuang.

“The Village Council was informed the night before the store was to open.’

“This new business came as a shock to us when we were informed that it would be operated by an Asian man.”

Asi said a long standing rule in Moata’a bans Asians from opening a business there.

“It’s not just Asians, the village also bans the selling of alcohol in the village stores.”

 

Source

News category: Asia Pacific.

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