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Wal-Mart lends China a $1M helping hand


Being the world’s largest retailer as well as the worlds largest company brings with it responsibilities and societal expectations that are not faced by other U.S. retailers.

The latest example of this comes from China, where earlier this week Wal-Mart wrote a check for $1 million to the Red Cross Society of China to aid the organization in relief efforts associated with severe winter storms across southern China. Funds will be used to provide daily necessities to those affected by the unusually low temperatures, snow and freezing rain that hit the nation, as millions of people were traveling in conjunction with the Chinese New Year, which began Feb. 7.

I hope more companies and people will follow Wal-Mart's lead and contribute to our relief efforts,” Guo Changjian, vp of the Red Cross Society of China, said in a prepared statement.”

Such sizable donations are increasingly commonplace for Wal-Mart as the company’s scale and international reach mean there is almost no aspect of global commerce untouched by its operations. As a result, when tragedy strikes, it is incumbent on Wal-Mart to render aid.

In the case of China, the Red Cross donation comes two months after Wal-Mart observed the approval of its 100th store in mainland China at gala event attended by senior executives and secretary Carlos Gutierrez of the U.S. Department of Commerce and vice minister Jiang Zengwei from China’s Ministry of Commerce. Wal-Mart also acquired a 35% ownership interest one year ago in Bounteous Company, operator of 101 Trust-Mart stores in 34 Chinese cities.

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