Shaun Rein

Unlike Wall Street Journal‘s columnist Bussey Shaun Rein does not think Wal-Mart – or any other foreign retailer in China – is bullied by the authorities. It’s Wal-Mart who betrayed its customers. Foreign retailers gain more and more market share, he tells in CNBC.

Shaun Rein:

Contrary to Bussey’s position that the government is treating foreign retailers unfairly, the largest hypermarket chains, Wal-Mart, RT Mart, Carrefour,Tesco, Auchan, Lotus, are all foreign owned because consumers trust foreign retailers more not to cut corners. Combined, they control the majority share of the modern retail market. Where are the barriers to foreign retail investment?

Most consumers, before the incident, told my firm they “trusted” Wal-Mart to sell good quality products. The government supports foreign retailers because they positively impact the food supply chain. So when even a trusted Wal-Mart sells bad products, it destroys public trust more and the government needs to make an example of them.

As one 30-something woman shopper in Shanghai told me, “If Wal-Mart did this, I shudder to think what domestic chains will do. The government needs to stop the problem now by arresting people, not just issue little fines.”

More in CNBC


Shaun Rein is a speaker at the China Speakers Bureau. Do you need him at your meeting or conference? Do get in touch.

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