Report: Wal-Mart Quiet That It Might Close 100 Stores in China

Is Wal-Mart Stores Inc. of Bentonville about to close 100 stores in China? It's not saying. But things are certainly slowing down for the world's largest retailer there. And then there's that whole "international bribery probe" that continues to drag on.

The China Daily has the latest:

Wal-Mart declined to comment on local media reports that the company is expected to gradually close 100 unprofitable stores between 2013 and 2015.

With 370 stores as of March, Wal-Mart's sales in 2011 ranked fourth in China among the top 100 foreign-chain retailers, according to the China Chain Store & Franchise Association.

The retail giant temporarily closed 13 stores in Chongqing last year over a pork-labeling probe.

Wal-Mart has said that it's slowing its expansion pace in China, a reaction to the country's "changing macroeconomic climate." Still, CEO Mike Duke told China Daily last month that it plans to open more than 100 new stores and more distribution centers there in the next three years.