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LVMH: We respect China's sovereignty
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LVMH, one of the shareholders of French retailer Carrefour, yesterday denied accusations by Chinese Internet users that it offered funds to the Dalai Lama.

"These accusations are totally groundless," LVMH said in a statement released yesterday.

The company sells Louis Vuitton luxury handbags, fine wines, Moet champagne and perfumes among other things.

Chinese people, both at home and abroad, have been urged through bulletin boards, online and cell-phone messages not to buy goods from Carrefour outlets from May 1 as the company's major shareholder, LVMH Group, was said to have donated funds to the Dalai Lama.

Carrefour is 10.7 percent owned by Blue Capital, a holding company owned by property group Colony Capital and Arnault.

"LVMH is very concerned about these accusations and some misleading media reports about the brand," said the statement, which was published on Sina.com yesterday.

"LVMH has always respected China's sovereignty and supports the country's unification course," the statement said, adding that company knows "clearly" that social stability is one of the key factors behind China's booming economic development.

"Neither LVMH nor any individual shareholders have ever supported any organization or act that opposes the interests of the Chinese government and the Chinese people," the statement said.

LVMH has outlets in 15 cities on China's mainland.

Carrefour China yesterday also denied that the French retail giant had supported Tibet separatists, claiming it has not and will never do anything that would hurt the feelings of the Chinese people.

Carrefour has always supported the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, it said.

(Shanghai Daily April 18, 2008)

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