- At a time when a major Chinese trade union is threatening to blacklist Wal-Mart for refusing to deal with organized labor there, the Beijing Time reports that the company has “invested one million US dollars to establish China's first retail research center at Beijing's prestigious Tsinghua University.”
There is at least the suggestion that Wal-Mart’s motives are not completely altruistic, and that the company is hoping to improve its image and avoid the unionization bullet in China.
- Wal-Mart has quietly opened its new Mexican store, less than a mile from the ancient temples of Teotihuacan near Mexico City, despite months of protests that the store was an insult to Mexican culture and would ruin the view from the Pyramid of the Sun.
As vociferous as the protests were, however, reportedly not one protestor was on hand when the unit opened yesterday…at least in part because Wal-Mart didn’t publicize an opening date, but just let the day and time spread by word of mouth. When the doors opened, however, there were fireworks and cheers, leaving no doubt that the store was open for business.
There is a broad spectrum of opinion about the new Wal-Mart,” with dissenters saying it represents the worst part of globalization and was like “nailing a stake in the heart of old Mexico,” and proponents saying that the move was necessary. One customer told the Associated Press, "Next we want a movie theater!"