Washington International Law Journal


Qun Zhao


China has increased investment into Kenya since it proposed the Belt and Road Initiative. Many Chinese State-Owned-Enterprises (“SOEs”) and private companies have established their presence in Kenya; most of them engage in labor-intensive industries like infrastructure building or manufacturing. Labor-intensive work requires companies to hire many local workers, which gives rise to labor conflicts between Chinese employers and Kenyan employees. Major conflicts between the two parties stem from several factors including informal hiring, wrongful termination, and tense relations with Kenyan labor unions. This article suggests that Chinese companies in Kenya should comply with Kenyan labor law to resolve labor issues resulting in conflicts. Furthermore, this article suggests that Chinese companies in Kenya should internalize the management strategy of compliance with the law and make further efforts in protecting the rights of Kenyan workers through Corporate Social Responsibility (“CSR”). CSR is beneficial to Chinese companies in building positive image, forming social dialogue, improving production efficiency, and achieving sustainable development.

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