Seriously? American Companies Announce Investments In China Despite the Wuhan Coronavirus Pandemic

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Posted: Apr 15, 2020 10:55 PM
Seriously? American Companies Announce Investments In China Despite the Wuhan Coronavirus Pandemic

Source: AP Photo/Jeff Chiu

China lied about the Wuhan coronavirus. They knew about this deadly virus six days before they alerted the rest of the world. Taiwan tried alerting the World Health Organization about the virus, but were dismissed simply because of their volatile relationship with China. And, on top of it all, both China and the WHO lied about the fact that this virus transmitted from human-to-human. 

Despite what we know, American businesses are going so far as investing millions of dollars in China and moving forward with already constructed plans.

Over the next five years, Walmart plans to invest $425 million in Wuhan, the epicenter of the pandemic. The company plans to open four Sam’s Club stores, 15 shopping malls and an undisclosed number of community stores. As of now, the retailer has 34 stores and two distribution centers throughout the Hubei province. 

Wern-Yuen Tan, President and CEO of Walmart China, said the move is considered a strategic collaboration framework with the Wuhan Municipal Government and a "win-win situation" for both parties.

In addition to investing in the ravaged city, Walmart touts what they have done to help those who live in Wuhan and the Hubei province:

During the pandemic, Walmart rolled out several initiatives to support the community and meet shopper demand:

  • Ensuring business continuity: its 400 stores in more than 170 cities have been kept running since the outbreak, without disruption
  • Keeping prices stable: participated in projects organised by the government, such as “One Yuan (CNY1) cabbage” and “Ten Yuan (CNY10) Special Vegetable Package”
  • Helping local farmers: adjusted its supply chain to directly source vegetables and fruits from local farms in Wuhan and Hubei to assist affected farmers
  • Upgrading delivery service: it was the first retailer to roll out a contactless community delivery service, leveraging its omnichannel capabilities
  • Waiving rent to all tenants: the retailer provided rent-free policies to all tenants during the peak of the outbreak, with the total amount worth CNY150m (US$21m)
  • Donating to charities: Walmart China and Walmart Foundation donated CNY10.44m (US$1.5m) to support frontline workers and their families

Starbucks is planning to invest $130 million to start a coffee complex, known as the Coffee Innovation Park (CIP), in Kunshan, just outside of Shanghai. The complex will include a roasting plant, warehouse and distribution center. The company is hoping to have the first phase of the complex completed in 2022. 

This move is Starbucks' largest manufacturing investment outside of the United States and its first in Asia. It's part of the coffee giant's move to "strengthen the specialty coffee industry in China." Executives plan to open 6,000 stores in the country by 2022. 

"With the CIP set to handle Starbucks largest roasting capacity outside the U.S., the investment highlights the Company’s ambition to further globalize its roasting network and reinforces Starbucks strategic focus on the U.S. and China as its two lead growth markets," the company said in a statement. "Currently, Starbucks operates six other roasting facilities — one in Amsterdam to support European markets, and five in the U.S. The warehouse, roasting and distribution capabilities of the CIP will lay a strong foundation for continued business growth and development in China."

Although corporations and businesses want to be global empires, they should be focused on helping the American people first. They should be focusing on investing in this country first. This is something for the American people to keep in mind the next time they go to the store or grab a cup of coffee. 

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