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.
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?