Retailer Carrefour China accused Sam’s Club, a Walmart Inc.’s unit, of forcing merchants to choose between it and Sam’s Club, a monopolistic behavior being cracked down on by the Chinese government. Carrefour China on October 22 opened its first members-only store in China and afterwards found many of its merchants requested to bring back their own goods, breaking its supply chain. Carrefour China revealed that these exiting merchants were pressured by Sam’s Club to do so and reported to China’s market regulator.
Chinese tech giant Alibaba’s retail unit Hema, Sam’s Club’s local competitor, also accused it of unfair competition, in a bid to collect evidence to report to the regulator. Hema opened its first members-only store in Beijing in 2020. Members-only stores mushroom continuously in China.
Walmart Inc. on October 24 responded by claiming its compliance and called for service differentiation between retailers.