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The name will be no indication of ownership
I previously mentioned that the Chinese are coming to town.... its impossible to miss. Every street has at least one "Chino Bazar" or restaurant on it, which are the types of businesses that they initially opened. They have a very strong work ethic and seem to be open all hours - it reminds me of the small corner  shops that are open all hours in the UK... or at least use to in the 70´s and 80´s before the supermarkets started opening 24/7. You could always guarantee that if you forgot something on Christmas Day you could pop down the street and they would be open - yes more expensive but then if nothing else is open thats your choice!

But as immigrants are leaving Spain to return to their country of origin because of the crisis, the Chinese are buying up other businesses.  Cristina Vazquez of the Chinese Merchants Association of the Valencian Community has indicated with respect to this diversification of activities of the group that "the number of Chinese restaurants & bazars has reached a saturation point that prevents them from opening more, so they look for other businesses". The new generation opt for franchising but the middle-aged Chinese opt for the typical pattern of small business that fits perfectly with Spanish Tapas bars. "They learn quickly and often keep a Spanish cook and waiter"

Traditional Spanish Tapas
As more and more struggle in the current financial crisis, the Chinese are stepping in to buy up. The Spanish and other nationalities are happy to off load & sell and the Chinese buyers are not reliant on the banks for finance - so everyone is happy. One of these small businessmen is Huan Hu, a distributor of wines in the Alicante region. "We struggle to get ahead, there is a crisis for us too, but we do not take Saturday and Sunday off - spend little and save a lot is our moto"

Last year there were nearly 6,500 Chinese registered in the province, nearly a thousand more than last year - there is a strong presence in Benidorm, Alicante, Elche and Torrevieja.  Before long we may be seeing official notices and leaflets being printed in Chinese then who knows, street signs? Benidorm Town Hall already ran a course for Spanish people to learn the Chinese language, business and culture at the beginning of the year, maybe next they will be replacing Valenciano in schools with Mandarin ... at least it will be of more benefit for the future!

Unfinished Atrium ... potential "The Little Hong Kong"
So next time you pop into a local Tapas Bar do not be surprised if the Jeffe is called Hu Ling or Ho Lee Fook instead of Pepe! Maybe Tapas Alley in Benidorm will be renamed Dim Sum Alley. Or the booming hotel industry - perhaps they can offer the beleaguered Atrium hotel a hand and get the project finished down on La Cala  I shall pass Javier Garcias number on, managing director of the group... wonder what my introduction fee should be!

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