Nike and H&M face China fury over Xinjiang cotton ‘concerns’ – BBC News

now the retail giant h m is facing a backlash and a potential boycott in china because it won't source its cotton from xinjiang province in a statement last year h m said that it was deeply concerned by reports of forced labor and discrimination against xinjiang's muslim minorities then on wednesday the chinese communist youth league posted this message on social media saying spreading rumors to boycott xinjiang cotton while wanting to make money in china wishful thinking shortly after h m disappeared from two of china's major shopping platforms chinese state tv released photos mocking the h m logo calling it ridiculous and even celebrities have claimed their breaking ties with the retailer our correspondent robin brandt is in shanghai and explains why this is happening now h m is big here here in shanghai it's big across china this is one of its multitude of locations in this country but what's striking about what we see in the last 24 hours is how quickly and how all of a sudden apparently this campaign led by celebrity endorsers and led by some arms of the ruling communist party has come out of nowhere and also what's so striking is how it's gathered pace in a matter of hours so this is all about h m's proclamation going back last year which you just referred to saying it wanted to purge its supply chain of cotton that was used and harvested in xinjiang that's the western province in china where china is accused of abuses against the muslim minority there genocide is actually how now president biden's administration uh has classified the abuses going on um so what's most intriguing is that all of a sudden just a few days after coordinated sanctions were imposed by the uk the us and the european union we have arms of the communist party the celebrity endorsers happy to take h m's money up until now all of a sudden coming out of nowhere bailing on the company and encouraging others to do the same in the other end of the scale you have retailers like muji the japanese retailer we just bought this shirt there this morning on the label this actually refers to xinjiang cotton so they're at the other end of the scale in terms of what's going on but look it's very serious this kind of effort to use its economic clout this kind of retail nationalism is a very familiar tactic employed by china employed by the party employed by its government and it's serious just ask the south koreans their uh chain store lotte suffered very seriously uh in years gone by over a diplomatic spat just asked the philippines as well the government there its fruit exports suffered seriously here that was all about a diplomatic spat between its governments uh robin branch reporting there now china's foreign ministry has accused foreign companies of malicious attacks on china based on rumours and lies and harmed china's interests about the situation in xinjiang he's the foreign ministry spokesperson the first xinjiang cotton ranks among the best in the world the loss is on the companies that choose not to use it second the allegations of forced labor are malicious lies fabricated by anti-china forces to smear china and disrupt safety and security

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