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Current Affairs

Chinese celebrities boycotting foreign brands

Date: 30 March 2021 Tags: Miscellaneous

Issue

Chinese celebrities have cancelled their brand sponsorship deals with many foreign companies such as H&M and Nike.

 

Background

The move was initiated after several western governments have alleged forced labour and human rights violations by Chinese authorities in Xinjiang.

 

Details

  • Chinese e-commerce apps have dropped H&M brands from their website. The smartphone app of H&M was also removed from app store.

  • Chinese tech giant Tencent has removed costumes designed from Burberry from mobile phone game to fuel the issue.

  • The communist party’s youth wing has also posted previous quotes by H&M, where they have expressed concerns about forced labour for producing cotton in Xinjiang.

  • China has been H&M’s third largest market after Germany and USA. The major profits and market share are obtained from China.

  • Chinese media has also criticised statements made from other international brands such as Nike, Adidas, Burberry and New Balance regarding situation in Xinjiang.

  • The issue of boycotting H&M and celebs cutting ties with the brand has grown so much that, March 25th has been dubbed the Contract termination day.

  • Many Chinese celebs have joined the movement against Western fashion labels and have posted with the hashtag ‘I support Xinjiang’s cotton’. 

 

Xinjiang cotton

  • About 87% of all cotton products made in China make use of cotton obtained from Xinjiang region.

  • This means that one in five cotton garments globally sold will contain cotton raw materials from this region.

  • The Trump administration had banned import of all cotton and tomato products from Xinjiang citing human rights violations against Uighur Muslims.

 

Reasons

  • The statements made by foreign labels were more than a year old. The government used these statements after fresh sanctions were imposed by the European Union, the United Kingdom, the United States and Canada.

  • This incident of boycott was not new. Earlier celebs had cut ties with companies such as Givenchy, Coach and Versace.

  • This was because these labels had sold T-shirts that had listed Hong Kong and Macau as autonomous countries.