By Clarence Leong and Justina Lee 
 

Walmart Inc. has been fined 300,000 yuan ($47,171) in China for falsifying product reviews on its app, local authorities in Guangdong province said.

The Guangdong Administration for Market Regulation said in a recent notice on its website that Walmart had been fined after regulators determined that from October 2020 to May 2021 the U.S. company's Sam's Club app automatically assigned products five-star reviews when users had yet to rate the transacted products themselves.

The regulator said the practice amounts to misleading consumers and making false product promotion, in violation of the Anti-Unfair Competition Law.

Walmart didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

The fine comes in the wake of a series of regulatory moves against the world's largest retailer in China.

In late December, the country's anticorruption watchdog criticized Walmart and warned of a consumer boycott following reports that the company had stopped stocking products from Xinjiang in its China-based stores. Walmart declined to comment at the time.

In early January, a media outlet backed by the country's market regulator highlighted administrative action against the retailer for alleged cybersecurity infractions. Walmart had no immediate comment then.

 

Write to Clarence Leong at clarence.leong@wsj.com and Justina Lee at justina.lee@wsj.com

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

January 14, 2022 06:58 ET (11:58 GMT)

Copyright (c) 2022 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
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