Following its announcement on forced labor in Xinjiang, Swedish apparel company H&M was forced to shut 20 stores in China, sparking anger among Chinese residents and officials. Several firms, including H&M and Nike, have recently come under fire after voicing worry over reports that slave labor was used to manufacture cotton in Xinjiang. Following travel and financial restrictions levied by the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, and Canada on officials suspected of human rights violations in Xinjiang, China’s northwest, the ruling Communist Party slammed H&M, Nike, and other shoe and apparel brands. According to the New York Times, the Swedish company has closed some 20 of its 500 stores in the communist world.
According to Taiwan News, several of the closures may have been triggered by Chinese landlords evicting the enterprises, while local customers pledged to shun the brand. According to the South China Morning Post, Chinese media have called for boycotts of Swedish multinational retailer H&M, sports apparel behemoths Nike and Adidas, New Balance, Burberry, and other participants of the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) who have expressed reservations or vowed not to use supply chain components manufactured in Xinjiang. H&M, the world’s second-largest clothes chain, has been removed from china’s Top e-commerce platforms, and other navigation, analysis, and ranking applications have restricted it.
Nike, Adidas, Puma, Converse, Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger, and Uniqlo are among the companies for which hundreds of Chinese celebrities have terminated contracts or revealed plans to break ties, a development welcomed by state media.