Where There’s a Wheel, There’s a Way

Apr. 9, 2020
Earlier this year COVID-19 gripped Wuhan, China. Businesses closed. City services shut down. Public transportation became nearly extinct. In nearby Yichang, Hubei, the effects were being felt, too. The viral outbreak elevated the need for essential supplies and services from places like Walmart.
One associate made it his mission to do his part — even if that meant pedaling 20 miles for four hours.

“I decided to bike.”

Xiangbin Zhang works at Hypermarket 2201 in Yichang. When COVID-19 paralyzed the area, he was out of town preparing to celebrate the Chinese New Year where he grew up. He soon realized he was needed back at the store, 20 miles away. Under normal circumstances, he would have opted for public transportation, but with those options off the table, he hopped behind a pair of trusty handlebars.
“It was my first time biking this far. The bicycle I took was the one I used as a child,” Zhang said. “The wheels are small, so I could only bike slowly. I just keep biking straight, focusing on the work and the team.”
Zhang works as a Receiving Department Supervisor. He’s been with Walmart for nearly eight years. He recognized the importance of his job at such as critical time; those thoughts played out as he trudged along his makeshift bike path. “I mostly thought about how to keep the team working,” Zhang said. “The outbreak might cause lots of difficulties, but our services could not be compromised.”
His favorite thing about his job is ensuring quality. He takes pride in knowing that any product that passes through his team meets or exceeds company standards. “What I do is important,” Zhang said. “I believe the team needed me there.”
After his 20-mile bike trek to work from his hometown, he went back to the place he lives. It’s 2 miles from Hypermarket 2201. His biking continued daily while public transportation was shut down.
Despite his praiseworthy dedication to his team, Zhang is quick to deflect it all. “My story is not special. I just did my job, that’s it,” Zhang said.
“Our associates truly make a difference, this time and every day. They are the ones who are behind all this.”
— Xiangbin Zhang,  Receiving Department Supervisor
Walmart World on Social