China's top anti-graft body warns Walmart, Sam's club over Xinjiang products removal
China's top anti-graft body, on Friday, warned Walmart Inc and its membership chain Sam's Club over the removal of products from Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.
"China is Walmart's second largest overseas market. It must show sufficient sincerity and attitude, respect facts, distinguish right from wrong, respect China's principle position, and respect the feelings of the Chinese people if they want to 'stand firm' in the Chinese market," the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection of the Communist Party of China (CCDI) said in an online statement. "Otherwise, the Chinese people and Chinese consumers will respond resolutely with practical actions."
Customers across several Chinese cities requested membership cancellation after the U.S. supermarket brand removed Xinjiang related products, following the U.S. government's action to ban imports of all products made from the Chinese region with so-called forced labor.
Pictures and videos circulating on Chinese social media have showed people queuing at Sam's Club stores to return their membership cards.
CCDI said the products' removal is without valid reason and showed "stupidity and short-sightedness."
Customers' service from Walmart said the move was due to inventory problems, which the CCDI questioned why is it "coincidentally" happening to all Xinjiang related products.
Sam's club is yet to make an official statement on the matter.