Prior to the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing Chinese people were by repeated interruptions of the Olympic torch relay in Paris on 7 April 2008 outraged. Soon after the incident, was LVMH Group, a shareholder of the retailer Carrefour, accused by some Chinese Internet users from donating money to the exiled spiritual leader of Tibet. The rumor on the Internet quickly, leading to demands for a large-scale boycott of Carrefour on 1 May 2008. Despite the lousy public sentiment, Carrefour has n … Read more »

Prior to the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing Chinese people were by repeated interruptions of the Olympic torch relay in Paris on 7 April 2008 outraged. Soon after the incident, was LVMH Group, a shareholder of the retailer Carrefour, accused by some Chinese Internet users from donating money to the exiled spiritual leader of Tibet. The rumor on the Internet quickly, leading to demands for a large-scale boycott of Carrefour on 1 May 2008. Despite the lousy public sentiment, Carrefour did not provide a consistent answer to the public, even after a whole week of the crisis. The situation quickly deteriorated, with demonstrations held in different cities across China. Meanwhile were more rumors about Carrefour anti-boycott campaigns circulating on the Internet. How should the local management of public relations and crisis response such as Carrefour can manage their corporate image for the future?
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Kineta Hung,
Candise Pong Wai Wa
Source: University of Hong Kong
20 pages.
Release Date: 9 February 2009. Prod #: HKU812-PDF-ENG
Carrefour China and the Olympic Torch Relay: Managing Corporate Crises under evolving expectations of Multinational Firms HBR case solution