CCTV Consumer Report Targets Carrefour, McDonalds

China Central Television targeted foreign retailers McDonald’s andCarrefour in a report aired on the nation’s annual consumer day, Bloombergreported.

In a report CCTV, the only nationwide broadcaster in the country, accused fast-food retailer McDonald’s of selling chicken wings past their sell bydate. A Beijing branch of the world’s largest restaurant chain also changed production time-stamps on pies past their expiration period and sold them to customers. “This is an isolated case,” Sophia Luan, a China spokeswoman for McDonald’s, told Bloomberg.

French grocery retailer Carrefour was said to have mislabelled ordinary chicken as a premium type and charged more for it at stores in Zhengzhou in central China's Henan province. Carrefour apologised on its official Chinese microblog.

Foreign retailers, especially of food products, come under close scrutiny because of their perceived superior quality by domestic consumers. Their popularity has increased in recent years because of food safety scandals that have mainly dogged domestic companies.

Although foreign retailers have indeed been found guilty of illegal or unethical practises, Chinese media occasionally produce features singling out non-Chinese companies for negative attention.

Those problems also highlight the management difficulties many foreign retailers in China face in maintaining their product and service standards, experts say, meaning overseas headquarters have to be more vigilant and responsive.

By Bei Hua

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