In a move to consolidate its position in the Chinese online marketplace, Walmart Stores, Inc. announced Thursday that it has acquired full ownership of Yihaodian.com by purchasing the remaining 49% of the company it DIDN’T ALREADY OWN. The purchase occurred a month after China agreed to allow full foreign ownership of some e-commerce businesses, hoping to encourage foreign investment.
Wait a minute. Walmart — that homegrown, family value retailer, is now a big retail presence in China? What happened to investing in the United States? What happened to looking out for U.S. manufacturers?
Methinks Walmart is playing both ends against the middle, and laughing all the way to the bank!
A quick perusal of Walmart China’s fact sheet online reveals that they’ve become quite the presence in China, and not just in buying inventory to sell at their stores here in the States. Operating both Supercenters and Sam’s Clubs, Walmart touts its sourcing for Chinese stores, stating:
Walmart China firmly believes in local sourcing. We have established partnerships with more than seven thousands of suppliers in China. Over 95% of the merchandise in our stores in China is sourced locally.
They firmly believe in local sourcing? Since when? On the surface, it appears to makes sense…FOR THEM. Buy it in China … sell it in China. So why doesn’t it make sense in the US? Buy here … sell here. Right? WRONG! Walmart buys goods from China at such a reduced cost that even when factoring in shipping across the Pacific, they still make more money per sale.
But here’s the salt in the wound. Not only are US goods not wanted by Walmart here in the US — they’re not wanted for Walmart China stores either!
U.S. manufacturers (and by association US workers and the U.S. economy) obviously don’t matter to Walmart (unless it puts money in their pockets). Aren’t the Waltons rich enough, yet?
Featured image via Sodahead