Bangkok governor orders strict checks on Chinese-backed businesses after viral TikTok backlash

Photo courtesy of ชัชชาติ สิทธิพันธุ์ (Facebook)

In light of a viral TikTok video featuring a Chinese expat’s perspective on life in Thailand, Bangkok Governor Chadchart Sittipunt issued an instruction for the Huai Khwang district chief to stringently impose laws on Chinese-backed businesses. This decision occurred yesterday and was instigated by a filmed review of Thailand’s day-to-day life from a non-Thai-speaking Chinese resident’s viewpoint.

Showcasing his day-to-day experiences, the expat indicated a life revolving heavily around Chinese enterprises such as restaurants and supermarkets. In the video, he also demonstrated using Chinese-focused apps to order food, and interacting with Chinese-speaking delivery personnel. This video ignited a wave of critiques amongst Thai social media users, who jocularly labelled the Huai Khwang zone as “Monthon Tai Guo,” translated as Thailand province of China.

Concerns arising about the area potentially evolving into a “Little China,” domineered by Chinese capital-backed businesses, were voiced. Responding to this, Chadchat that while such businesses do contribute positively to economic stimulation, it’s a priority to ensure their law-abiding operation. He revealed instances where some of these businesses in the Huai Khwang area were closed due to violations of the Food Act concerning imported food. He noted that the district office has been instructed to keep these businesses under close watch.

However, the 57 year old governor clarified the limitations of City Hall’s powers in regulating business registration which falls under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Commerce. Nevertheless, he assured that all businesses would face thorough inspections, focusing particularly on food and beverage businesses to guarantee compliance with the Public Health Act, reported by Bangkok Post.

While recognising Chinese-backed businesses as quality competitors, they should not compromise on consumer safety, emphasised Chadchart. He also shed light on the current tourism buzz in Bangkok, triggered by the broadcasting of foreign television series featuring local restaurants and tourist spots.

Observing the influx of foreign content creators filming in Thailand, especially in its capital, the governor viewed it as a golden opportunity to boost tourism and attract more international visitors to the country.

In related news, police in Huai Khwang last month shut down Meree Spa and Massage after finding out that Diamond KTV Club had hosted a drug party for 48 Chinese tourists.

The police apprehended all of the suspects and recovered a wide variety of illegal drugs and related items. The venue’s licence was suspended for five years by the district office, and the authorities are currently looking into who the real owner is. Click HERE to read the full story.

Bangkok NewsThailand News

Mitch Connor

Mitch is a Bangkok resident, having relocated from Southern California, via Florida in 2022. He studied journalism before dropping out of college to teach English in South America. After returning to the US, he spent 4 years working for various online publishers before moving to Thailand.

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