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Carrefour China and the Olympic Torch Relay: Managing Corporate Crisis amid Evolving Expectations of Multinational Firms  
Product Ref: 09/425C Company: Carrefour China

Product Type: Case Industry: Retail & Wholesale

Related Product(s): Teaching Note
Prior to the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, Chinese people were outraged by repeated interruptions of the Olympic torch relay in Paris on 7 April 2008. Soon after the incident, LVMH Group, a shareholder of the retailer Carrefour, was accused by some Chinese internet users of donating money to the exiled spiritual leader of Tibet. The rumour spread on the internet quickly, leading to calls for a large-scale boycott of Carrefour on 1 May 2008. Despite the souring public sentiment, Carrefour did not provide a consistent response to the public, even after one whole week of the crisis. The situation deteriorated quickly, with demonstrations taking place in various cities across China. Meanwhile, further rumours about Carrefour's anti-boycott promotions were circulating on the internet. How should the local management react to the public relations crisis and how can Carrefour manage its corporate image going forward?
Functional Area : Marketing
Social Enterprises & Ethics
Strategy & General Management

Issues: The changing expectation of multinational firms amid the strengthening economic development since China's opening door policy in 1978; the implication of Carrefour being picked as a target of the protests; the challenge to re-build Carrefour's corporate image long-term
Length: Text: 15 pages
Exhibits: 5 pages
Country: China (People's Rep. of)

Pub. Year: 2009 Level of Difficulty: 2
This product type is available in the following language(s):      English
Related Information: N/A
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