Leader: Western retailers can't take success in China for granted


As Aldi launches in China, Carrefour is scaling back. The French retail giant is the latest in a long line of big international retailers to dial down their presence in the Chinese market.

It followed in the footsteps of Tesco and Kingfisher, for instance, as it offloaded an 80% stake in its China business to local player Suning.com.

Carrefour has operated in China since 1995, but almost a quarter of a century on it was only making EBITDA of €66m on sales of €3.6bn.

So why do so many international retailers fail to make it in China? It is typically seen as a go-to market where a rapidly growing middle class would be eager to splash out with world-renowned retailers.

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