The owner of an Abuja-based Chinese supermarket criticised for barring Nigerians and restricting entry to Chinese nationals has refuted claims that her store is only meant for a specific group of people.

She also clarified that her establishment is not a supermarket but rather a retail shop aimed at meeting the essential needs of her local community.

Liu Bei disclosed this in a personally signed statement sent to PUNCH Online in Chinese and English Language on Tuesday, noting that she feels scared seeing a lot of people she doesn’t know in front of her store.

Her reaction followed a summon notice and threat of sanction by the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission on Monday after it sealed her store.

It was reported on Sunday that the supermarket had implemented a controversial policy restricting entry solely to Chinese nationals, excluding Nigerians from patronising the establishment.

This policy sparked widespread condemnation across various social media platforms as Nigerians voiced their concerns over the discriminatory treatment.

But in her defence, Bei stated that she sells to residents, workers, and visitors who come to her store after visiting the office building, regardless of nationality.

According to her, the small retail shop is not a supermarket like other grocery stores and revealed plans to close the shop after downsizing operations in December 2023.

The statement read in full:

“My name is Liu Bei. I watched PUNCH’s news about Chinese supermarkets not allowing Nigerians to enter for shopping.

“Now there are a lot of people in front of my store who I don’t know where they come from. I feel scared and I want to explain something.

“My shop is in the Royal Choice Estate, Airport Road, Abuja. It’s a small retail shop, not a supermarket like SHOPRITE. I mainly sell things to community residents and people who work here. Sometimes some visitors will come to my store to buy something after visiting the company In the office building, regardless of nationality.

“Since December 2023, I downsized the operations of my shop and have been planning to close.

“I don’t discriminate against any Nigerians, I even have several local employees in my store and we have a good relationship. However, for safety reasons, the community has requirements for visitors, so not everyone can enter the community directly.

“I feel sorry for the altercation between the security guard and the visitor in the video. Two Nigerians did come to my store that day to buy something, and I sold to them.”