How Walmart’s Lack of ‘Global Vision’ Hurt Its China Chances

Whether it be Walmart moving into China or Uber revving up its European operations, global expansions face higher failure rates than domestic ones.
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Whether it be Walmart (WMT) moving into China or Uber revving up its European operations, global expansions face higher failure rates than domestic ones. Robert Salomon, author of Global Vision, said the key to success is deeply understanding the new terrain ahead of time. 'The main thing is to think carefully about the political, cultural and economic hurdles that you will face in every market and then adapt your business model to those environments,' said Salomon, who is also a professor of international management at NYU’s Stern School of Business. Salomon said Walmart’s entrance into these Chinese market in 1996 is a good example of a company felled by the pitfalls of globalization. Walmart quickly discovered that China is more like multiple countries than a single one culturally, economically and politically. This hampered the retailer’s ability to distribute its products nationwide so much that it did not see a positive return from China until 2008. He added that Walmart, in fact, still struggles with profitability from its Chinese operations.