Carrefour cancels China sales plan



French supermarket chain Carrefour, accused by some Chinese of supporting the Dalai Lama, has cancelled a sales promotion planned for the May Day holiday, state media said on Friday.

"Carrefour has cancelled the week's advertising activities related to the promotion, including the print media, broadcast and circulars during the coming May Day holiday period," Xinhua news agency quoted Carrefour media manager Chen Bo as saying.

"We estimate that sales over the May Day holiday will decrease 20 per cent from previous years," Chen said, without directly linking the decision to recent anti-Carrefour protests around China.

Last weekend, Chinese took to the streets in several cities to demand a boycott of French goods and targeted Carrefour, part of an upsurge in nationalist sentiment in response to anti-China demonstrations that have followed the Olympic torch relay around the world.

There have been calls on the Internet for more protests outside Carrefour over May Day, a holiday in China.

Carrefour's head, Jose-Luis Duran, has denied allegations that it backs the Dalai Lama, the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader who is the target of fierce criticism by Beijing.

Many Chinese were particularly angered by pro-Tibet protesters in Paris who tried to snatch the flame away from a wheelchair-bound Chinese torch bearer.  (Reuters)