Look, they even got the #1 Ranking on the CNN Fortune 500 List of American Companies with $351,139,000,000 of revenue in 2006.
While I have never gone to Wal-Mart as much as it’s shown on Paris Hilton’s show, The Simple Life, many people go there for everything. This trend has now spread to the Chinese market. Wal-Mart and its comparable hypermarket brethren, Carrefour, Trust-Mart and Tesco are dotting the Chinese urban landscape. Cheap and (usually) dependable products have made shopping at these hypermarkets are very popular.
Recently, at the factory, I have seen many of my colleagues wearing a different variety of English t-shirts. Since we are without a standardized dress code in the office, many people come to work in random and interesting attire…most usually from Wal-Mart.
Today, I held my weekly meeting regarding new projects with members of various factory departments. A good friend of mine, 阿花, who is usually decently well dressed, came into the meeting with a very interesting t-shirt on. The white girl t-shirt had “I (heart) backseats.”
After the meeting, during lunch, I was able to ask阿花 about what she was wearing. It turns out that she bought the shirt because she liked the sparkly accessories and the red heart. She had bought the shirt at Wal-Mart with a few other friends. She knew the basic meaning of “backseat” but didn't know the connotation behind it. After I explained it to her, she promised to never again wear the shirt.
While thinking about it, I can’t imagine what Wal-Mart was thinking in selling these sexually-provocative t-shirts to a population who is 1. considered sexually repressed and 2. have no idea what they are wearing. In my 6 months in
I would like to personally thank Wal-Mart for giving the Chinese population more subliminal sexual undertones while pursuing their profits. Maybe in the near future you can convince Chinese people to get random English words tattooed on them like current Americans are doing with Chinese characters.
That will be the day.