China attacks foreign clothing, shoe brands over Xinjiang – Washington, District of Columbia

Washington, District of Columbia 2021-03-25 05:50:50 –

Beijing (AP) — China’s state television called for a boycott of H & M on Thursday as Beijing blamed foreign clothing so hard …

Beijing (AP) — China’s National Television accuses foreign clothing and shoe brands of H & M’s boycott after Western sanctions against Chinese authorities accused of human rights abuses in Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region I asked.

The ruling Communist Party has criticized H & M for stopping the purchase of cotton from northwestern China in March 2020. Swedish retailers have joined other brands in expressing concern about reports of forced labor there.

The Global Times, a bulletin, also criticized a statement by Burberry, Adidas, Nike, New Balance and Zara about the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region as early as two years ago.

“The reaction is very clear to companies that affect our bottom line. Don’t buy!” China Central Television said in its social media account. The Swedish names H and M are said to represent Chinese words that mean lies and falsehoods.

The attack follows Monday’s decision by the European Union, the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada to impose travel and economic sanctions on four Chinese officials blamed for abuse in the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region.

According to foreign researchers and governments, more than one million people in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, most of whom are mainly from Muslim ethnic groups, are trapped in concentration camps. Beijing denies their abuse, states that it is trying to promote economic development and eradicate radicalism.

“The existence of so-called forced labor in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region is completely fictitious,” said Gao Feng, a Commerce Department spokesman. He called on foreign companies to “correct wrong practices,” but didn’t say what they were expected to do.

Celebrities, including popular singer and actor Wang Yibo, have announced that they have broken the approval agreement between H & M and Nike.

H & M products were not found on Alibaba Group’s TMall and JD.com, China’s most popular e-commerce platforms. According to news reports, it was removed due to public criticism of the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region statement. Both companies did not respond to requests for comment.

Beijing often attacks foreign clothing, automobiles, travel and other brands for government action and pressures companies to follow their official position on Taiwan, Tibet and other delicate issues.

Companies typically apologize and modify their websites and advertisements to maintain access to one of the largest global markets, China. However, Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region is a very difficult problem. Western brands are facing pressure at home to stay away from potential abuse.

Loss of sales in China, the only major economy where consumer spending has recovered above pre-pandemic levels, can be particularly painful during periods of weak demand in the United States and Europe.

H & M Group said in a social media account that it “does not express a political point of view” and “respects Chinese consumers.”

The company said it has transactions with 350 Chinese manufacturers to manufacture products that “comply with the principles of sustainable development.” “We are working on long-term investment and development in China,” H & M said.

H & M has 520 stores in China in 2019 with sales of $ 1.4 billion, with annual figures reported last year. China is the third largest market after Germany and the United States.

The criticism began on Wednesday when the ruling Youth League called attention to an H & M statement last March on a social media account. No reason is given as to why he chose the company or why he quoted a statement a year ago.

“Are you lying about boycotting the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region while you want to make money in China? Wishful thinking,” said the Youth League.

Burberry, Adidas, Nike and New Balance also made “cut remarks” about cotton in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, according to Global Times. Another Global Times quoted Zara’s statement that he had a “zero-tolerance approach to forced labor.”

Last year’s H & M statement decided to suspend licensing as the Better Cotton Initiative, an industry group promoting environmental and labor standards, became “more difficult” to track how cotton was made in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. Was quoted. In September, H & M announced that it would suspend its partnership with a Chinese manufacturer accused of using forced labor in units unrelated to the Swedish brand.

In January, Washington banned the import of cotton from the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, a major supplier to garment producers for the Western European market.

China’s official anger is focused on Europe. Perhaps the EU’s relations were friendly amid a grudge against Washington over trade disputes and accusations of Chinese espionage and technology theft.

Official criticisms of H & M reflect the tone of complaints when a friend hurt them.

“How can H & M eat Chinese fried rice and then break a Chinese pot?” State Television said in a commentary Wednesday.

Comments on the Internet cited the gap between Uniqlo in Japan and the United States as another possible criminal. It was unclear how many of those accounts were members of the general public and how many were run by the ruling party’s vast propaganda equipment.

Pop star Wang’s announcement to resign as Nike’s “brand ambassador” did not mention Xinjiang. “We will firmly resist any words or actions that pollute China,” he said.

There are also singer and actress Son Chien, a former member of the Korean pop group f (x), also known as Victoria Song, and actor Hwang Suan, who has announced that he will end the approval contract with H & M. Actress Tatsumi Matsu has said she has cut off her relationship with Nike.

Chinese sports shoe brand ANTA has announced that it will withdraw from the industry’s cotton group, BCI.

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