NEW figures reveal that while the number British self-employed people on the Costa del Sol has dropped, business is booming for Chinese entrepreneurs here.
Chinese self-employed are the only group of foreigners in Malaga Province who have seen the number of entrepreneurs rise over the past few years.
Since 2008, the number of Chinese businesspeople who have opened small and medium shops in the province rose by 61.6 per cent to 1,393, Social Security Treasury figures show.
Some of them have more than one shop, as well as restaurants, it revealed.
This makes the Chinese the group of foreign residents with the second highest number of businesses in the province, beaten only by the British.
There are still 3,392 British people registered as self-employed in the province, despite the numbers having fallen by 1,300 people in the past four years.
In the Carretera de Cadiz area of Malaga City alone, five large Chinese bazaars (discount shops) have opened and a further 20 to 30 smaller shops.
Meanwhile, in the past few months alone, almost 700 local businesses in Malaga city have had to close.
Local businesses complain that they are unable to compete with the Chinese prices or their opening times.
The President of Malaga Commerce Federation, Enrique Gil, claims they have been demanding that the authorities be as strict with Chinese businesses as they are with the locals when it comes to opening times, social security for staff, receipts for clients and other rules.
Many Chinese businesses have been reported for opening on Sundays and holidays without permission.
By Jennifer Leighfield