There have been small protests at the French retail giant's stores in several Chinese cities, including Beijing, in the past week, but the latest outburst in the eastern coastal city of Qingdao came after state media moved to cool down the nationalistic fervor.
The journey of the Olympic torch around the world has been dogged by protests, largely over Chinese rule in Tibet, where a wave of anti-government unrest erupted in March. In Paris, numerous protests and attempts by activists to snatch the torch prompted Chinese security officials to extinguish the torch several times and put in on a bus.
Local media photos showed the protesters holding up banners that read "Boycott France, Support the Olympics" and "Oppose Tibet independence, Love the motherland". They waved red Chinese flags and shouted slogans, attracting a big crowd of onlookers. A photo showed a man burning a French flag.
France has tried to play down calls for a boycott of French goods, saying they were being made by a "very small minority" and Carrefour, which has more than 100 hypermarkets in China, has restated its support for Beijing's hosting of the Olympics.
Some Chinese newspapers have also run commentaries against the boycott, saying in the era of globalization it would only hurt Chinese employees and suppliers.
Still, an opinion poll in 10 Chinese cities found 66 percent of respondents supported the Carrefour boycott, according to the official Xinhua news agency. Only 7 percent said outright that they would not. (News from Reuters)
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