When Wal‐Mart and the Chinese dormitory labour regime meet: a study of three toy factories in China

Ngai PUN*, Xiaomin YU

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review


This paper analyses the characteristics of the dormitory labour regime in China's post‐socialist period and the collusion of this regime in the process of the ‘Wal‐Martization’ of global toy production. This collusion has shaped labour relations and CSR labour practices in China. This paper focuses on three factories, located in the industrial zone of Shenzhen, South China, that supply toys to Wal‐Mart. It begins with an examination of the dormitory labour regime supporting China's exports and then investigates the ‘Wal‐Martization’ of the global toy industry. The effect of Wal‐Mart's bargain‐driven business model on the dormitory labour regime has reshaped China as ‘the world's workshop’ and changed its position in the international division of labour. An analysis of the nature and characteristics of Wal‐Mart's corporate social responsibility (CSR) model, which is based on providing only the ‘legal minimum,’ and its impact on factory labour relations in China will follow.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)110-129
Number of pages20
JournalChina Journal of Social Work
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • China
  • corporate social responsibility
  • dormitory labour regime
  • Wal-Mart


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