A Chinese Communist Party official ripped into Walmart WMT Friday over allegations that its Sam’s Club stores in China removed items made in Xinjiang.
The U.S. and United Nations have accused China of using religious minorities as slave labor in the province.
The criticism of Walmart came from the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, the Chinese Communist Party’s anti-corruption watchdog.
It said Sam’s Club explanation that inventory management is behind the Xinjiang product removal doesn’t cut muster.
“Anyone who knows a little about the inventory management of chain enterprises will understand that the removal of all Xinjiang products due to ‘inventory’ is just an excuse for self-deception,” the Commission said.
“If Sam’s Club wants to maintain a normal operation, how could it happen that all products from Xinjiang are out of stock? ….
“All products from a region are removed from the shelves without a valid reason, with ulterior motives hidden behind them, exposing stupidity and short-sightedness, and will surely suffer the consequences….
“As China's first high-end paid membership-based retail company, Sam has entered the Chinese market for 25 years, earning money from Chinese consumers, but secretly resorted to nasty methods to boycott the products produced by this country and its people.
“The behavior not only violated the normal market rules, but also aroused the indignation and resistance of Chinese consumers.”
Walmart “must show sufficient sincerity and attitude, respect facts, distinguish right from wrong, respect China’s principled position, and respect the feelings of the Chinese people,” the Commission said.
“Otherwise … Chinese consumers will respond resolutely with practical actions.”
Walmart declined to comment to news media about the matter.