Seems like H&M is not going to get any relief from controversies!
Recently, Swedish fast fashion brand faced huge backlash by China over the brand’s voice on ‘human right violation’ in Xinjiang province.
Now the brand is being targeted by Vietnam over a controversial map of China on its website. The controversy began on Friday when the Shanghai branch of the Cyberspace Administration of China objected to a ‘problematic map of China’ on H&M’s website.
However, the objection didn’t specify what was wrong with the illustration buta widely shared graphic by the Chinese users of the‘nine-dash line’ – the mark China uses to claim about 90 per cent of the disputed waters of the Bien Dong Sea which is internationally known as the South China Sea–became a focal point of controversy.
Reportedly, H&M agreed and edited the map of China with a ‘nine-dash line’ on its website.
Soon after H&M’s step of editing the map, which the brand’s officials refused to comment on, Vietnamese media and netizens started targeting the brand on the social media against its decision of changing the map.
According to Vietnam’s official statements, the country has repeatedly stated that it does not accept China’s use of ‘nine-dash line’ to encroach on Vietnam’s waters.
It’s worth noting here that, in 2016, the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) had issued a ruling confirming that China’s declaration on ‘nine-dash line’ has no legal basis.
Vietnamese citizens took the issue to various social media platforms including Twitter and called for a boycott of H&M for kowtowing to China with several hashtags #BoycottHM, #TaychayHM, #HMgetoutofVietNam, #HoangsaTruongSabelongtoVietNam.
One of the users posted, “Paracel and Spratly Islands are belong to VietNam due to international law. H&M brand now is fighting against the law in Asia. We fight because we must fight.”
Several other users went on to unleash their anger on H&M and called for a complete boycott by endorsing statements like – Get out of our country, H&M.
H&M has a relatively small presence in Vietnam as it operates 11 stores in the country as compared to China, which is a home to 520 stores of the brand.