Walmart, Apple Inc. to Partner on Musical Instruments

Wal-Mart is set to announce a partnership with Apple Inc., its biggest customer, on Wednesday.

The company, which also sells guitars, basses and keyboards, will invest $1 billion in a factory in China that will build the new instruments.

The announcement comes as Apple prepares to unveil new iPhones in San Francisco, its biggest market.

The partnership comes a week after Wal-Marts parent Wal-mart Stores Inc. and its sister company Walmart Corp. said they would join forces to sell musical instruments to music fans.

Wal-marts sales grew 1.4% last year and the company is expected to add more than 20 million customers this year.

The deal is likely to help Wal- Mart attract more customers to its online music-streaming service.

The Wal- marts partnership comes as the company has been accused of failing to adequately police its suppliers and a slew of labor and human rights abuses, including the deaths of at least two workers at the company’s Chinese factories.