Kung fu cha

This is a kung fu tea set. Photo: Shandukani Mulaudzi This is a kung fu tea set. Photo: Shandukani Mulaudzi

 

DID YOU KNOW:

The true meaning of kung fu is not just about martial arts. Kung fu means hard work.

“Kung Fu is made up of two characters: the first, kung, can mean skillful work, hard training, or endeavor. The second, fu, means time spent.”

 

Today I went to China Discount Market in Randburg again to meet with the store manager. Her name is Angelique Ju and she is 26 years old. She came to South Africa 13 years ago with her family.

When we walked into the offices the first thing we saw was this cute tea set. After we had interviewed Angelique we asked her about the tea set and she said it was called a kung fu tea set. Of course I didn’t understand because I associated kung fu with martial arts and Jackie Chan. Later in the day I consulted my friend Google and that’s where I discovered today’s “did you know”.

Business people are secretive. Obviously because at the end of the day revealing your ideas could lead to what I will very dramatically refer to as corporate espionage. It seems however that in Chinese retail espionage between retailers is a very real thing.

I laughed when Angelique told me that some of their tenants spy on one another and then order the exact same stock that their neighbouring shops have. Once tenants discover this is happening they put up signs in their stores banning other tenants from entering.

Angelique laughed and said tenants would come and complain to her but there was really not much she could do. She then told us that some tenants resorted to sending their shop assistants to do the spying on their behalf.

I’ve been trying to find out the future plans of the retail node managers and while they are willing to say that they plan to expand they refuse to say where and how. I’m assuming that the fear is that people will get wind of what they have planned and compete with them.

Kung fu – hard work AND patience. Some people are more willing to talk than others that’s what’s so great about life.

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