Wal-Mart reopens China stores after pork scandal


AFP

BEIJING — U.S. retail giant Wal-Mart said Tuesday it has reopened stores in southwest China that were temporarily closed after they were found to be selling pork falsely labeled as organic. The 13 stores in the mega-city of Chongqing resumed operations on Tuesday after a 15-day closure for “internal enhancements,” Wal-Mart said in a statement. The company has opened inspection laboratories in each store in the city to improve “food management” and packaged meat will be clearly labeled to show if it is “pollution-free” or “organic,” Wal-Mart said.

Wal-Mart will also hold “afternoon tea sessions” with customers to gather feedback while employees will be trained in Chinese laws and regulations. Earlier this month Chongqing authorities ordered Wal-Mart to temporarily close the stores for selling ordinary pork labeled as more expensive organic meat. They also detained some Wal-Mart staff and ordered the company to pay more than US$420,000 in fines and other penalties. After the incident, the head of Wal-Mart’s China business, Ed Chan, quit “for personal reasons” while Clara Wong, senior vice president of human resources division of the China operation, also resigned.