WWD.com/globe-news/mass-off-price/wal-mart-assures-product-safety-in-china-7392760/
government-trade
government-trade

Wal-Mart Assures Product Safety in China

Retailer responds to state television report accusing it of cutting corners.

BEIJING — Wal-Mart Stores Inc. has responded to a critical report on Chinese state-run television this week, assuring that it does not cut corners in safety checking or approving products for sale at its 400-plus stores in China.

The company released a detailed statement on Friday in response to a story that appeared on state broadcaster CCTV Thursday evening accusing Wal-Mart of circumventing China’s retail product permit procedures for profit. The report said Wal-Mart had violated proper procedures in instances of more than 600 products that went to its shelves.

Earlier this month, Wal-Mart was forced to recall a brand of donkey meat from some of its stores in one province after government regulators said their tests found the donkey tested positive for fox meat. That was just the latest in China’s ongoing battle with food safety, which has crept into every corner of the market.

The company said it goes above and beyond safety protocols in China. It said the CCTV piece referred to a process it has which speeds up quality approvals for known vendors with proven safety and quality track records.

“Our special approval process is used to accelerate listing items from suppliers we already do business with,” the company said in a statement on Friday. “The process requires three levels of management approval on an item by item, supplier by supplier basis. This ensures that we do not sell fake or inferior products nor we compromise the welfare or safety of our customers.”

The company maintains it is committed to product safety in China, where it continues to expand its retail presence at a healthy clip.