Adidas and other Western brand manufacturers have been drawn into China’s sanctions dispute with the European Union and the USA. There is also outrage against the Swedish fashion chain H&M on social media of the People’s Republic, and against American sporting goods manufacturer Nike. Its background is that foreign companies have recently accused human rights violations in the western Chinese province of Xinjiang. State media and several Internet users recalled it on Thursday. Sometimes calls for boycott came.
These were driven by heightened political tension between Beijing and the leadership in the West. The EU, USA, Great Britain and Canada recently adopted sanctions against representatives from China. Affected are those people and institutions accused of human rights violations and Muslim Uygar minority persecution in Xinjiang. China denied the allegations and responded to counter-sanctions.
Nike is also under fire in China
Nike, Adidas and H&M were particularly impressed
The Chinese public is now increasingly targeting corporations that have raised concerns over the Xinjiang issue. International companies have come together in the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) which advocates sustainable cotton production. These include Nike, Adidas, H&M and Fast Retailing from Japan. In October, BCI announced that it would not give green light to cotton from Xinjiang for the 2020/21 season. This was justified with the human rights situation there.
Naik had also expressed concern about reports of forced labor in an unwanted statement. According to media reports, H&M announced last year that it would not purchase products from the Chinese province for this reason. The Chinese state media is now targeting this statement. As reported by the state tabloid “Global Times”, Spanish Zara mother Inditex has now made a statement on the subject of Xinjiang from its English and Spanish-language websites.
Always in sight
The Beijing government warned foreign companies not to tarnish China’s name. The ruling Communist Party newspaper People’s Daily launched a social media campaign to support Xinjiang Cotton. H&M stores no longer appear in some online maps for store search inquiries. Internet users threatened Western providers. “If you boycott Xinjiang cotton, we are boycotting you,” one wrote. “Either Adidas leaves BCI – or it should leave China.” Others called for people to stop using Nike and buy Chinese brands such as Li Ning and Anta.
H&M said the company respects Chinese consumers and is involved in its long-term investment plans for the People’s Republic. Initially, there were no comments from Adidas, Nike and BCI.
In China, foreign companies are repeatedly targeted by state media as a result of political tensions. In the past, for example, American fashion chain Gap had to apologize in China for showing a “faulty” map without a t-shirt to Taiwan. And German carmaker Daimler apologized to China in 2018 for using the Dalai Lama’s quote in an advertisement.
HB / DK (RTR, DPA)