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The Financial Times reports that Tesco, which has been unable to get the kind of traction in China that it had hoped to, now is looking for a joint venture partner there that will allow it to grow while minimizing its financial exposure.

Less than three years ago, the story notes, Tesco promised to spend billions of dollars to open hundreds of stores there, but has more recently "scaled back these ambitions" and remains in the red there. Now, while Tesco maintains that China is "strategically important," it also says that it has "adopted a more cautious stance."

According to the piece, "Analysts said the list of the most suitable partners would include China Resources Enterprise, the state-controlled group that owns the Vanguard and Ole supermarket chains. The Chinese conglomerate also has a brewing joint venture with SABMiller." Tesco is not commenting on the report.
KC's View:
It is amazing - and instructive - to watch the degree to which Tesco's fortunes have changed in just a few years.

I do admire one thing about the company, by the way. FT also notes this morning that Tesco CEO Philip Clarke and his top executives will forego their annual bonuses because of the company's poor performance. That's important - people at the top need to feel the pain if they don't get the job done.