Deals over dogma: Why China’s Costco frenzy shows the limits of Chinese nationalism

Vancouver (Toronto Star) – The chaotic opening of the first Costco in China sure got people talking. Swarms of customers filled the aisles, and traffic around the store in the Shanghai suburb was backed up for blocks, forcing the U.S. shopping giant to close after only a few hours of business.

Pictures showed people grabbing packets of roast chicken and elbowing past other shoppers at the store. Local news reports said the retailer offered discounts as deep as 60 per cent on some products.

When I watched the videos, I just shrugged. Consumerist hype is simply a part of daily life in modern China.

It’s understandable why Costco’s successful debut might puzzle some: Aren’t Chinese citizens angry about the U.S.-China trade war or the detention of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou at the request of U.S. authorities?

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