Authorities Are Asked to Check for Chinese Retail Investors

A group of Thai importers who import products from China have petitioned the government agency to investigate Samanea Plaza, fearing it could hamper Thai private businesses.

Samanea Plaza, a 200 rai retail and wholesale shop on Bang Na-Trat Frontage Rd, has been operating since late 2021 to sell all goods imported from China, from clothing and jewellry to electronic products and home furniture and decorations.

The group has 3 companies registered: Samanea Bangna 02 Limited, Samanea Bangna Limited, and Samanea Holdings (Thailand) Limited.

Samanea Plaza

By initial checking, the companies are all registered by Thai citizens; therefore, it is not necessary for them to ask for permission to do business under the Foreign Business Act. They had the status of a Thai company.


If you look at the shareholding, more than 90 percent are Thai. Although they are of Chinese descent, they all have Thai identity cards. The only foreigners among the shareholders are from Hong Kong and hold only 1 percent of the shares.

A representative of the retail sector said the investigation request could be due to the losses of shops in Thailand whose products are imported from China, as well as Chinese businessmen in Thailand facing more competition from mainland Chinese businessmen who can source cheaper products.

Visit Limlurcha, vice-chairman of the Thai Chamber of Commerce and honorary president of the Thai Food Processors Association, said Thailand has experienced a flood of imported Chinese food in recent years.

chinese product1
Chinese products

This can be seen in the products on the shelves of retail shops. The products imported from China are cheaper. It is up to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to investigate whether these products were imported legally or not.


In the past, due to a lack of sufficient officers, the FDA and the Consumer Protection Police Division (CPPD) have worked closely together to investigate dietary supplements and cosmetics. FDA officials first investigate on-site to determine whether the products are legally distributed under the Thai Food Act, B.E. 2522 (1979).

The team then seizes the offending product and sends it to a laboratory for further testing. If the products are found to be illegal, the police will proceed according to the law.

For the Samanea, the investigation began at the same time that the FDA and CPPD began their investigation into several Chinese import shops in Bangkok and found that the food and beverages were mislabelled, did not have a Thai label and were missing the FDA number. They seized more than 120 types of products, totalling more than 3,700 products. The FDA has also ordered provincial health authorities to investigate in their own province.