(Dec 26): Even as global consumer brands grow more dependent on Asia for sales of everything from fancy handbags to baby formula, European retailers keep retreating from the world’s fastest-growing markets.

The UK’s Tesco, which said this month that it’s weighing a sale of its Thailand and Malaysia operations, is just the latest. Earlier this year, Germany’s Metro and France’s Carrefour offloaded their big-box stores in China. Britain’s Marks & Spencer Group beat them to the exit by completing a regional pullback last year.

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