Walmart Faces Backlash from China Over Xinjiang

Walmart owned Sam’s Club, a members only warehouse club that offers products and services, said the criticism about its so called deliberate removal of Xinjiang sourced products is a misunderstanding. Chinese social media users and news outlets have criticized the company for removing the products from its domestic online stores.

Walmart and Sam’s Club have also received backlash from China’s anti-graft agency. It accused the retailer of “short sightedness and stupidity”.

The company however says that the matter is only a misunderstanding because the app does not support searches for products based on names of places.

A wave of Chinese shoppers canceled their Sam’s Club memberships after the controversy, showing the predicament of foreign companies trying to balance the tension between China and the west.

Xinjiang has become a major point of conflict between China and the west. The UN and human rights groups estimate that more than one million people have been detained in Xinjiang camps, mainly Muslim Uyghur minorities.

China has been rejecting accusations, saying the camps are vocational centers created to fight terrorism and religious extremism.

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