Dalian Wal-Mart: Default for ten years

Updated: 2011-11-02 17:19

By Zhi Yun (chinadaily.com.cn)

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A Wal-Mart superstore in Dalian, Liaoning province has been accused by its landlord of refusing to pay its rent for 10 years, even with enforcement orders from the court, Beijing Times reported on Nov 1.

According to the paper, Dalian Wanguo Shopping Plaza signed the contract with Wal-Mart Dalian branch in 1999. The contract stipulated that Wanguo grants the land and the money to establish a superstore according to Wal-Mart's requirements.

Wal-Mart took over the superstore in 2002 with a yearly rent of over 10 million yuan and a 15-year lease. However, the company hasn't paid since then, the paper reported.

Zhang Weiping, a law professor from Tsinghua University, told the paper that the amount of rent unpaid by the Wal-Mart Dalian branch has reached 100 million yuan so far.

It is reported that after a year of taking over the superstore, the branch had applied to the International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission to terminate the contract with Wanguo, claiming the latter couldn't meet Wal-Mart's construction requirements.

However, Wal-Mart's application was rejected as the commission found that the problem was caused by Wal-Mart itself as it refused to cooperate with Wanguo during the construction process.

The commission asked Wal-Mart to continue to fulfill its obligation according to the contract but Wal-Mart refused to do so, the paper said.

Yu Zhou, a judge from Dalian Intermediate People's Court, told the paper that the real reason Wal-Mart refuses to meet the commitment is that the company is opening a new superstore in another location and wants to abandon the old one.

Another judge from Dalian Intermediate People's Court told the paper that according to law, Wal-Mart's refusal to fulfill its obligation might lead to a fine, detainment or even prosecution for its criminal liability.

A reporter tried to contact Wal-Mart but the company did not respond.

Wal-Mart ranks high in the world's top 500 enterprises, and the Dalian branch is its wholly-owned subsidiary. The branch's registered capital is $20 million and owns 4 superstores in Dalian. Its sales in 2009 reached over 900 million yuan, with a profit of more than 50 million yuan.