Wal-Mart: Violence and Lies

| October 16th, 2009

The night of September 2nd, Yu Xiaochun (余小春) who was viciously beaten by Wal-Mart workers, passed away after three days of rescuing efforts by the doctors. Since the exposure of the incident, Wal-Mart murder case was the hot topic of the internet forums.

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On August 30th 7 pm, 37-year-old Yu Xiaochun went to Wal-Mart supercenter in Jingdezhen plaza. When she walked out of the store, five Wal-Mart employees (four men and one woman) chased up to her. They accused Yu of stealing and demanded her to show receipt. Because those guys were not wearing Wal-Mart uniforms, Yu snatched the receipt back. As a result, five employees beat her up senselessly to the ground. They would not even stop went Yu’s family was kneeling at the scene begging. Eventually the police showed up and rushed her to the hospital. But Yu still passed away 3 days later. For the details of this news coverage in September check out “Wal-Mart Workers Beat Customer To Death” by ESWN

This article “Wal-Mart: Violence and Lies” is the cover story of the Faren Magazine October issue. It reviewed this incident attempting to uncover the root cause of such bloody violence and the ugly truth of Wal-Mart.

Wal-Mart workers beat customer to death, obviously was not an accident, but what was it that really made this retail giant to be forever tainted?

After Yu Xiaochun passed away for 25 days, most people still were not clear on what really happened on August 30 afternoon – from Jingdezhen Wal-Mart Supercenter to Yu Xiaochun’s home was only one small street apart. In such a short distance, Yu Xiaochun, on her way back home from shopping at Wal-Mart was followed and beaten to death by Wal-Mart workers. Just like one of the regularly occurred disputes between the Wal-Mart employees and the customers, they suspected Yu Xiaochun of shoplifting, followed her and even assaulted this 37-year-old defenseless woman to death.

Whether if Yu Xiaochun shoplifted from the supermarket or not, we obviously have to wait till the result of the Jingdezhen police’s investigation. However, in the hazy statement issued by Wal-Mart China headquarters, people could see this worldwide retail giant not only did not have the slightest remorse, but Wal-Mart also demonstrated their arrogance and indifference – They were always trying to dress up the Wal-Mart employees murder case into an accident, they never thought about these evil actions may be rooted in the Wal-Mart’s culture which lacked caring and compassion.

To those customers who have been shopping in Wal-Mart, no one believed Yu Xiaochun’s death was just an accident. Wal-Mart’s distrust towards the Chinese customers could be seen in every segment of the shopping experience. If the customer was buying products like toothpaste, during the check out, cashier often opened boxes to see if customer had switched the products inside; even when purchasing an entire case of milk, cashier could also open up the original manufactory seals, just to see whether the customer had altered the package. As for suspecting customer of shoplifting and conducting illegal searches in Wal-Mart were also not uncommon.

Perhaps the death of Yu Xiaochun still cannot bring Wal-Mart into disrepute, but this retail giant’s long time slogan “save money, live better” will not be as attractive as before, at least not in China anymore. Even in its mother land – the United Sates, Wal-Mart always played a contradictory role of most apprised yet being hated at the same time. In one hand Wal-Mart’s attractive “everyday low prices” saved consumers a lot of money, but in the other hand it mercilessly squeezed profits from suppliers and employees, also shamelessly became one of the few world’s top 500 companies without a worker union. Because of this, even the famous couple – Barack Obama and his wife refused to shop at Wal-Mart. President Obama certainly is not deliberately making the nation’s largest private employer’s life more difficult, it’s just he has already seen through the inherent toxins of the Wal-Mart corporate culture long ago. In his view, it is not possible for a company who refuses and looks down upon workers union, to care for and to have compassions to people’s rights.

Wal-Mart has become powerful in the United States. More than 300 billion dollars annually in sales, even makes the national income of some small countries in the world look insignificant. This is not only making Wal-Mart the king of the global channel networks, but also making it easy for controlling the industrial chain and changing people’s daily lives.

Wal-Mart also entered China precisely with this powerful face. In the mid-nineties of the last century, Wal-Mart already was developing an ambitious plan to enter China, and to hope in the emerging Chinese market to duplicate its success in the United States, including the strong logistics and distribution, advanced technology and careful management. However, blindly copying, plus China’s unique soil, Wal-Mart quickly lost its ways. Although China already had powerful production capacity in this period of time, but was lack of effective distribution channels. Wal-Mart saw this clearly, and changed the United Sates effective purchasing, made full use of its advantages to greatly profit in the downstream consumer market, at the same time kept “squeezing” profits from the upstream manufacturers, for example, low balling the purchase price, asking for market admission fees and so on. For suppliers who have dealt with Wal-Mart before, all with no exception felt the toughness and cruelness of Wal-Mart.

At the top position of the retail market, though Mal-Mart’s market share in China was not too high, still had a very strong dominant power. Such power allowed them to force unequal and unfair trade to any vendors, and the majority of the suppliers kept their resentment to themselves. In term of this, Wal-Mart’s so called “everyday low prices” was fully established on top of the relentless “exploitation” of the suppliers.

For three consecutive years, Wal-Mart purchased more than 100 billion dollars worth of goods from China, which for the thousands of domestic suppliers is truly an irresistible temptation. However, we must think about it: Who is controlling the suppliers? Who is controlling the industrial chain? Whom did the cost of “everyday low prices” really pass onto? Is such “low price” really low price?

24 Comments | Leave a comment | Comment feed

  1. BV says:

    I’m still amazed at how many beating deaths there are in this country. This is nothing short of retarded.

    • Monkeyboy says:

      If you look at the US, there isn’t much difference. Remember last year how a girl was best up by a group of 7 girls in Florida? The Columbine Shooting etc…

  2. Key says:

    Yes, there is a lot of violence in China, just like any other countries, more or less, for different reasons in different circumstances. However for a civilized American corporate giant like Wal-Mart? Wait, this is not the first time this has happened in Wal-Mart, last time was in Texas… if you read the post by ESWN,

    This horrible outcome in China is reminiscent of the equally appalling story from August of 2005, when 30-year-old Stacy Driver, a master carpenter and the father of a two-year-old son, died from a heart attack while lying face down in a Wal-Mart parking lot in Houston, Texas. Driver was pinned down on the burning hot pavement by several Wal-Mart workers who accused him of shoplifting a package of diapers, a pair of sunglasses, a BB gun, and a package of BBs…

    Read more at: Another Wal-Mart Shoplifter Is Killed
    The article reviewed the violent incident, and really believed it has to do with the root cause, which he uncovered, the ugly, greedy, cold and cruel corporate giant Wal-Mart with its actions in China.

  3. J says:

    To be fair, Wal-Mart can’t be truly held responsible for the actions of a few dumb fuckin’ hicks. Seriously, these types of beatings occur all over China for stealing.

      • J says:

        Yes, it’s happened in Walmart before, but at the same time, unless you have proof that Walmart encourages/trains their employees to beat the fuck out of shop lifters, then there’s nothing really to discuss here.

        Walmart would never encourage this, why? Wrongful death law suits are far more expensive and image destroying than anything else.

        • YU888 says:

          Sorry J, your comment would apply to the US cases, but certainly not for China as wrongful death suits rarely happen in the China. So, as a greedy corporation run by greedy bastards both American and Chinese, I have little doubt that while they may not have directly encourages such treatment of shoplifting suspects, they probably have nothing in place to discourage it. And yes, such deaths occur more often in China than in the US, but an American corporation that allegedly is civilised SHOUL try and do the right thing and perhaps a wrongful death suit should somehow be filed in the US to give the parent company some financial incentive to clean up their act.

  4. 沃尔玛SB says:

    沃尔玛SB沃尔玛SB沃尔玛SB沃尔玛SB沃尔玛SB沃尔玛SB沃尔玛SB沃尔玛SB

  5. Andrew Shuen says:

    Excellent piece!

    Such message discipline.

    I am going to use this piece to teach my students on how to maintain message disicipine..

    Thugs kill innocent women —–> Wal Mart is “cruel” to suppliers.
    Child sneezes ————— > Wal Mart is “cruel” to suppliers.
    You fall into a man hole ——- > Wal Mart is “cruel” to suppliers.

    Exceptional.

  6. hardyandtiny says:

    why did they beat the woman?

  7. Teaher in China says:

    I really don’t like how this piece turned into an anti-Wal-Mart blaming spree. I’m not saying that I’m a supporter of Wal-Mart (and actually, I refuse to shop there period, and have for over a decade), but this incident happened for one reason: employees caught up in some herd mentality couldn’t stop themselves and through their viciousness actually egged each other on until this poor woman was actually beaten to death. The fact that Wal-mart is evil has nothing to do with it. To me, this looks like a “face-saving” blame game, where the local manager (or even the city, or the writer of the article, or whoever) is trying to find excuses for what happened. What happened was completely unreasonable and unpardonable, period. There is no excuse that would make this ok.

    • deenie says:

      I think the fact that Wal-Mart is evil has everything to do with it. Also, I know that in China, Wal-Mart indirectly causes untold harm by encouraging sweatshop conditions. Poor young people are employed where they work long hours each day with no benefits, poor food, and many people crowded into small rooms to sleep. I saw the movie “The High Cost of Low Prices” and was appalled. A young girl pleaded with the viewers not to buy anything from Wal-Mart. Here in Amerika, Wal-Mart crushes small stores. Actually some are not so small but everyone that wants to pay a living wage to their employees realizes soon after a Super Center moves into their area (25 mile or 40 km radius) that the business is going downhill. I avoid shopping at Wal-Mart and I hope everyone would also. The greed there is tangible. It permeates all that they do and even employees can become infected.

    • naman says:

      I agree that this article is just an anti-Wal-Mart skreed. This article is very biased and needs to be written a bit more objectively. Wal-Mart are not angels, but they aren’t the demons made out by the press either. There are 3800 stores in the USA and the commentators on this article can only cite me a handful of stories on violence in Wal-Marts?!?!? Oh please! If I did research, I could probably cite more violent events are churches in the US!!

      And this abject hatred of all things Wal-Mart is so elitist, it’s not even funny. I visit a friend of mine who lives in small town America and the locals don’t complain at all about W-M. The locals rave over the prices and the selection, so I don’t know what other people complain about. I have a feeling the people who really loathe W-M either don’t live in small town USA or make so much money that they can turn their nose up at shopping there. Neither of which opinions I would trust.

    • kay odom says:

      I agree. You are correct and whatever Wal Mart is, it is NOT teaching their employees to kill customers…that is LUDICROUS

  8. madmilker says:

    People in America need to realize jus what got America in this shape…”cheap” yes so-call cheap items from a foreign land.

    quote*Wal-Mart firmly believes in local procurement. We recognize that by purchasing quality products, we can generate more job opportunities, support local manufacturing and boost economic development. Over 95% of the merchandise in our stores in China is sourced locally. We have established partnerships with nearly 20,000 suppliers in China. *end quote!

    Now! if there be 182 country’s making items for the world to buy and they have only 5% of the pie in China…duh! This company makes the nice people of China support their currency(yuan) by keeping it in their country working for the people there…. but with the “yuan” going up in value and the US dollar going down…all the foreign items that the American consumer buys thinking it is cheap has went up in price.

    People…its all about the currency and to keep a currency strong you got to keep it floating around the country you live in so it can work for you. For the past 12 years all them US dollars are being shipped overseas to a foreign bank and with the American worker not making anything for the foreigner to buy the “we the people” have to turn to the “second” largest employer in America(Uncle Sam) to sell “we the people” debt in order to get all them dollars back!

    50 years ago a foreigner would had given their left nut for a US dollar or a Hershey’s chocolate bar and today the same foreigner has got Uncle Sam and the American consumer by both all the while Hershey is moving the chocolate factory to Mexico. Wake up! America and think “MADE IN AMERICA.”

    quote*”Considering that there are over 30,000 ships at sea this morning,” writes James Carlton, director of the Williams College-Mystic Seaport Maritime Studies Program, in an e-mail, “the total number of organisms and species in this global ‘bioflow’ on the morning your readers read your piece could be staggering – billions of individuals, and thousands of species.”

    Indeed, scientists have long considered ballast water the primary way invasive aquatic organisms are introduced. From the zebra mussel’s arrival in the Great Lakes, to an American jellyfish severely disrupting Black Sea fisheries, the potential costs of accidental introduction of a species to new homes can be tremendous. Aquatic invasives cost the US $9 billion yearly, according to estimates by David Pimentel, professor emeritus of ecology and evolutionary biology at Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y. Zebra and quagga mussels (a cousin to the zebra) alone cost the $1 billion annually.*end quote!

    tat is $9 billion a year in hidden taxes to all Americans…
    cheap ain’t chic and it cost America…………jobs!

    ————

    more and more people are thinking the way of the nice people in Germany and South Korea……NO WAL*MART

  9. madmilker says:

    oops! i made a boo…boo!
    tat wusn’t my web site…..tis one is….silly me!

  10. kay odom says:

    This article starts out being about death of woman by Wal Mart employees and ends up being a tirade of Wal Mart business practices. Sounds like sour grapes to me…it’
    s called CAPITALISM guys. After reading other articles from China Hush, my opinion is that China has violence issues…Wal Mart has nothing to do with violence in a culture!!!

    • Carl says:

      China has violence issues? Whoa there, read up some military spending facts before you talk shit like that. And capitalism? WalMart is the least capitalist corporation in the world, being the biggest. And monopoly, if anything, is more alike unrestricted and irresponsible dictatorship than capitalism, any day.

    • Robert says:

      I am a paraplegic in a wheelchair, trying to return items to WalMart in Las Vegas, NV when I was taken into a backroom willingly. I was held against my will for two hours, threatened by a loss prevention (LP-security) employee who stated he would “kick my a*s if there were no witnesses” (all were employees). I stated his sister could do that, as I’m in a wheelchair. I found out later that two security cameras required by law had been removed. “No, you don’t understand-I’m a bad a*s at jiu jitsu” he exclaimed. I attempted to call police, when he snapped my cell phone in half-now I was very scared. Soon after, one huge LP man grabbed one arm, another 6’4″. 270lb LP man grabbed my other hand, breaking my pinkie when the jiu jitsu leader grabbed my shirt and shoved me back, slamming my headinto the wall, causing a brain injury. They fabricated a lie of me trying to steal items I intended to buy, The cop who finalli showed up was overly friendly, and three at a time, he took aside employees, some I had bever even seen, and had them write the same lies, alway bringing 2 back and keeping one wpth the next two,until he had 12 “volintary statements” of lies, refused to allow me to give a statement, refused me medical attention for my forever dented head, and arrested me. No attorney in town would file suit against this behemoth corpoation. Every Defense attorney refused to takr my case-two revealed no one would take ny case; one cited sprcifics of my case file-the whole of the city’s attorneys had been warned off by the deep pocketed Wal-Mart Corporation (6 of the country’s wealthiest people in America are Wal-Mart Heirs-the other four EARNED their billions. Justice costs money, and if you have none, Wal-Mart can and will squash you-you’ve now been warned!

  11. Mark says:

    Has nothing to do with Walmart everything to do with poeple.

  12. Chiize says:

    what would happen to the empolyees that killed her?

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