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MONEY & BUSINESS: China graft agency warns Walmart and Sam’s Club over Xinjiang products



FILE PHOTO: A Walmart sign is seen inside its department store in West Haven, Connecticut, U.S., February 17, 2021. REUTERS/Mike Segar/File Photo

December 31, 2021

BEIJING (Reuters) -China’s anti-graft agency on Friday accused U.S. retail giant Walmart Inc and its Sam’s Club chain of “stupidity and shorted-sightedness” after social media users alleged that Sam’s Club had removed Xinjiang-sourced products from stores.

Last week, Sam’s Club came under fire in China after users of the Weibo social media platform shared screenshots allegedly showing that products from the far-western Chinese region of Xinjiang had been removed from the store’s online app.

The social media row erupted soon after U.S. President Joe Biden signed into law on Dec. 23 legislation banning imports from Xinjiang over concern about forced labour there.

Neither Walmart nor Sam’s Club have made public statements on the matter, and Walmart did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Friday.

The ruling Communist Party’s Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI), in a statement on its website, accused Sam’s Club of boycotting Xinjiang products and trying to “muddle through” the issue of Xinjiang by remaining silent.

“To take down all products from a region without a valid reason hides an ulterior motive, reveals stupidity and short-sightedness, and will surely have its own bad consequences,” the commission said.

(Reporting by Eduardo Baptista in Hong Kong and Sophie Yu in Beijing; Editing by Louise Heavens, Robert Birsel)





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