Though the cost of Chinese goods have increased as a result of the yuan’s rise against the U.S. dollar, U.S. mega-retailer Wal-Mart said its purchases of Chinese-made shoes, toys, and other goods would hold steady this year at $9 billion. The AP report, hosted at CNNMoney.com, also says the retailer is expanding its operations within China – it opened 30 stores last year, bringing its mainland total to 102.
Wal-Mart’s president for China, Ed Chan, declined to give sales forecasts or the number of new stores that will open in 2008. But they said China sales were growing faster than the 18% rate for the rest of Wal-Mart’s non-U.S. operations.
Wal-Mart officials say they are maintaining good relations with the Chinese government, despite the company’s efforts to quell unionizing efforts by the government-sanctioned All-China Federation of Trade Unions in 2006.