The gist of the story goes like this. Our main character, Ah Gang, arrives in an unnamed city. He accepts a job offer to work as a plain clothes store detective, abbreviated internally to “AP”y, at a Walmart branch in this city. His duty there is to catch thieves who steal from the supermarket. As time goes on, Ah Gang feels that his work environment is becoming progressively weirder. Nothing is quite as fine as the company claims. During his time there, Ah Gang is attacked by his colleagues. But when he finds himself with his back against the wall, he fights back regardless of everything, unafraid. And so, a tumultuous fight begins. The office fills with gun smoke from loose crossfire, and people get injured and are forced to take leave. Ah Gang, too, receives bruises and scars. After this event, he exposes embarrassing incidents within his department, gaining notoriety throughout Walmart China. In doing so, Ah Gang discovers Walmart’s dark side: the factions, the chains of profit and interest, and the cover-ups. In order to protect himself, Ah Gang delves deeper, pulling dirty employees down, exposing their faults. Two department managers are successively implicated in the matter, which even affects the district manager and district director. Eventually, Ah Gang discovers fraudulent activity in Walmart’s National Ethics Office, together with hard evidence to prove it. Many people panic and Ah Gang’s office co-workers get flustered. Yet they still they can’t get him under control. So, they band together and hold a meeting that denounces Ah Gang, and thereupon, a scene from the Cultural Revolution takes place, replete with personal attacks, derision and name calling. However, this scene is captured by the office surveillance system, including the sound. The lowly behaviour of Ah Gang’s colleagues that was used to provoke him was a little perverted, deviating from the original intentions of congeniality, and started a vicious retaliation. During those few days, Ah Gangs phone practically rings off the hook, as these events alarm the general headquarters of Walmart. The general headquarters dispatch a survey manager to investigate these matters, while Ah Gang’s superiors seek to shut him up in order to protect their future prospects. However, ultimately Ah Gang discovers that the investigating manager is untrustworthy. So, an out-of-character Ah Gang prepares himself to take the final step; take the evidence he has and expose it to the newspapers. But this kind of attempt would be too malicious, and Ah Gang’s anger is far from of laying everything to waste. Doing things this way would involve a lot of people, and consequently Walmart would sustain heavy losses. However, Ah Gang likes Walmart a lot. Ah Gang considers the Walmart temple is good, but it holds a few outspoken monks with a crooked view, who distort its creed. After all this is China, and Walmart’s management has certainly had problems in recent years. In China, Walmart was always going to suffer from pressure, it won’t always be able to do things by the book, and is bound to be influenced by Chinese culture.
In the end, Ah Gang put this matter aside and left the company. This was because he new that afterwards he wouldn’t know how to deal with both outright attacks and slights of subterfuge. But why should he? After all it was just a job, and for Ah Gang, changing jobs is the easiest of things.
Of course, I am Ah Gang. Although I have left Walmart, those events have been constantly turning over in my mind, as they are both extremely interesting as well as shocking. They reflect many phenomena in our country; not only are officials corrupt, ordinary people outside the system are also corrupt. It shows that the Walmart culture that stands for freedom, democracy and justice has broken down in this country. By writing this article I want to show my fellow compatriots that in the end Walmart’s culture, one that takes the American culture of freedom and democracy as its foundation, is no match for corrupt and fraudulent Chinese culture, and to some extent has been rendered the same. Why are things like this? Let’s investigate this together.
At the same time, in order to avoid this piece being used by Walmart’s competitors to their advantage, I will stress here one point. Although I have experienced all kinds of dark aspects to Walmart, to this day I still consider that it is China’s best supermarket, and even the best in the world. I am qualified to say this as I’ve worked in business for several years in Beijing, and I’ve had dealings with every kind of foreign, national and private investments in shopping malls and supermarkets. I believe that although Walmart has issues, and that these issues are not insignificant, it remains imposing despite having it tough. Walmart has solid foundations, chiefly in its culture and management. After all, China is only a small part of its enormous business scope, and still its defects do not outweigh its virtues.
Hell, to this day I still adore Walmart with a fondness that comes from the heart. After all this, I still love you. I love the philosophies of freedom, equality, and justness that are reflected by it’s system. Let me slowly tell this story below. I estimate that by the time I’ve finished writing it will be a medium-length novel.