More retail brands criticised on Chinese social media over Xinjiang statements

A woman walks past a store of the Swedish fashion retailer H&M at a shopping mall in Beijing China

A social media frenzy ignited by a government call to stop foreign brands from tainting China's name prompted internet users to search for other previously issued statements on Xinjiang by foreign retailers.

On Wednesday, the youth league of the Communist Party and the state-run China Central Television criticized H&M online, saying the firm's action is based on rumors.

On Thursday celebrities, tech brands and state media - aided by outrage on China's tightly-controlled social media - piled in on several global fashion brands, as China's vast consumer market was mobilised.

Both Nike and H&M's statements were made past year.

"Nike does not source products from the XUAR and we have confirmed with our contract suppliers that they are not using textiles or spun yarn from the region".

Beijing announced its own sanctions against European Union lawmakers and organizations in retaliation.

Fashion retailer H&M is facing a potential boycott in China after a statement the company made previous year expressing deep concerns over reports of forced labor in Xinjiang stirred a social media storm this week.

H&M's 2019 China sales were $1.4 billion according to its latest figures, and it has more than 500 stores in the country.

State tabloid Global Times said Spain's Inditex, owner of Zara, had "quietly removed" a statement on Xinjiang from its English and Spanish-language websites. Adidas declined to comment on Thursday and Nike did not respond to requests for further comment.

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These are three inactivated vaccines, one adenovirus vector vaccine, and one recombinant protein subunit vaccine, Mao noted. To date, the Czech Republic has been using vaccines from Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna, and AstraZeneca , all two-dose vaccines.

Users also targeted the Better Cotton Initiative which promotes sustainable cotton production and which said back in October 2020 that it would suspend its approval for cotton exported from Xinjiang for the 2020-2021 season.

BCI members include Nike, Adidas, H&M and Japan's Fast Retailing. "Either Adidas quits BCI, or get out of China", one internet user wrote.

"H&M Group respects Chinese consumers as always", the statement said.

On Thursday morning, H&M's store on the Taobao online shopping platform had been blocked. The Swedish clothing retailer's official store on Alibaba's Tmall, an e-commerce platform, was inaccessible.

Cotton producers in China's autonomous region are accused of exploiting the forced Uyghur labour f and other Turkic and Muslim minorities.

"Chinese people will not allow some foreigners to eat China's rice while smashing its bowls", foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told reporters in Beijing.

For emphasis, she held up a black-and-white photo that she said depicted black slaves harvesting cotton in the United States and compared it to a bright, colour photograph of a cotton field under a blue sky in Xinjiang region.

Xinjiang has promoted the application of green agricultural machinery and technologies and actively introduced advanced intelligent agricultural machinery and equipment, including cotton picking machines, high-power tractors, plasma dosing machines, intelligent precise fertilizer matching machines, satellite navigation and automatic driving and unmanned plant protecting machines.

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