Wal-Mart China executives resign

Wal-Mart store in Beijing
Image caption Wal-Mart opened its 100th store in Beijing in 2007

Two top Wal-Mart executives have resigned from the company's China business, at a time when the US retail giant is trying to expand in a key growth market.

Wal-Mart China chief financial officer Roland Lawrence and chief operating officer Rob Cissell have left "to explore other opportunities", the company said in a statement.

It did not name any replacements.

Wal-Mart entered China in 1996 and now has 333 stores there.

This includes 104 stores operated by Trust-Mart, in whom Wal-Mart bought a 35% stake in 2007.

Wal-Mart competes with France's Carrefour and the UK's Tesco in China.

Shanghai-based retail analyst Marie Jiang, from Pacific Epoch, said the departures could cause some concern.

"The psychological impact [of the departure of the executives] is seen to be larger than the material as employees of its China operation may see an unstable top management team," she said.

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