Leading retailers and brands Nike and H&M pay the price as they issue statements on Xinjiang!
As per reports of Western and Chinese media, Chinese social media has condemned statements made by the companies as celebrities cancel contracts with brands.
Nike faced a social media backlash after it announced that it would boycott materials from Xingjiang.
The backlash over the Nike statement was amongst the highest trending topics on China’s Twitter-like social media Weibo on Thursday (25 March).
Anger with Nike has erupted on Chinese social media after the company issued a statement saying it was ‘concerned about reports of forced labour’ in China’s Xinjiang province, and that it would not source textiles from the region.
Wang Yibo (23), the popular Chinese actor, terminated his contract as a representative for Nike in response to the statement, his agency said on Weibo.
Tan Songyun, another Chinese actor, also announced she was terminating her contract with Nike.
There is anger in China at the Swedish clothing giant H&M’s decision also to no longer source cotton from Xinjiang. Its products vanished from China’s number one e-commerce platform Taobao (Alibaba).
Two popular actors also cut ties with H&M and state media published commentaries criticising the company.
Just a day before, H&M China said in a statement it ‘does not represent any political position’ and remains committed to long-term investment in China.
This issue is not limited to Nike and H&M!
State-run Beijing Youth Daily name-checked adidas, New Balance and Burberry for being members of the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) which suspended licensing of cotton sourced from Xinjiang early in 2020 due to lack of access and due diligence on whether supply chains there were using forced labour.
Japanese clothing brands Uniqlo and MUJI are also believed to have suspended transactions related to Xinjiang cotton.
It is being said that the row follows the introduction of sanctions against Chinese officials announced earlier this week by the EU, US, Britain and Canada over alleged human rights abuses in Xinjiang.
Chinese top idol Wang Yibo Thursday terminated contracts with @Nike.
— CGTN (@CGTNOfficial) March 25, 2021