Jonathan Unger is director of the Contemporary China Centre at Australian National University. The most recent of his 14 books is Chen Village: Revolution to Globalization, co-authored with Anita Chan and Richard Madsen. Unger is lead author of a chapter in Wal-Mart in China on the conditions of employees at Chinese Wal-Marts.
With more than 10,000 suppliers in China manufacturing for Wal-Mart, the great majority of its merchandize is “Made in China.” Wal-Mart is now becoming a major retail presence there as well. The company has already opened close to 200 stores in 101 Chinese cities and hopes to roll out ever more big-box emporiums across the urban Chinese landscape. What happens when the world’s biggest retailer and the world’s biggest country do business with each other?