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Wal-Mart in dispute in China over alleged unpaid rent

11-02-2011 16:21 BJT

DALIAN, Nov. 2 (Xinhua) -- U.S. retail giant Wal-Mart has entered the media spotlight again in China -- this time over a store rent dispute.

The Wanguo Shopping Plaza Co. in the northeastern coastal city of Dalian said Wal-Mart has not paid rent since mid-2002 when a building with a floor area of 16,508 square meters was transferred to the retailer for use.

The company said the two parties signed a 15-year lease at a rate of over 10 million yuan (1.6 million U.S. dollars) a year.

The Wal-Mart subsidiary in Dalian had applied to terminate the contract in 2003 and 2005 on allegations including delayed construction, illegal delivery, a lack of housing ownership certificate and unfinished projects.

The China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission, however, rejected its contract termination demands in 2005 and 2008.

The retailer never opened a store at the building due to the allegations, and, instead, opted to open a new store at another location in Dalian and started construction at that location in June 2010.

The arbitral rulings, like final court verdicts, are law-abiding and, therefore, the lease contract is still in effect, said Yu Zhou, a judge at the Municipal Intermediate People's Court in Dalian.` The court is pushing for the dispute to be settled in accordance with relevant laws after Wal-Mart failed to abide by the arbitral rulings over the past few years, according to the judge.


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