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Carrefour boycott drive widens
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Throngs of Chinese have called on consumers to boycott Carrefour SA to protest against the French supermarket chain's perceived support for Tibet separatists.

The Carrefour boycott call has been widely spread since the weekend through bulletin boards, online and cell-phone instant messages to Chinese people from home and abroad. People have been urged not to buy goods from Carrefour outlets from May 1.

Petitioners say Carrefour's major shareholder, LVMH Group, has donated funds to the Dalai Lama. They also expressed fury after some French people joined Tibet separatists to disrupt the 2008 Beijing Olympics torch relay in Paris two weeks ago.

The campaign drew great public attention yesterday, along with a protest against French-branded cosmetics.

"I have heard some French politicians are really in favor of the Tibet separatists from Websites and the international media, so I think the campaign could be a channel for us to express our feelings," a 27-year-old office employee, surnamed Shi, told Shanghai Daily yesterday.

Zheng, an accountant, said she would not stop shopping in Carrefour because most of its products are Chinese-made. "But I will consider not buying French luxury goods, such as LV bags," she added.

Chen Bo, the public relations officer for the French company in China, was not available for comment yesterday.

The Wall Street Journal on Sunday quoted Dai Wei, a spokeswoman for Carrefour in China as saying: "As a foreign enterprise in China, we don't want to be involved in politics or sports."

She said she wasn't aware of the intended boycott.

(Shanghai Daily April 15, 2008)

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