tirsdag 27. april 2021

Can Western brands recover from consumer backlash in China?

For many years foreign companies operating in China have faced social media-fuelled consumer backlashes, sometimes over instances of cultural insensitivity and sometimes over political controversies. "Anyone who offends the Chinese people should prepare to pay the price," was the blunt message from China's Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Hua Chunying when asked recently about a number of Western companies facing a boycott after they expressed concern over alleged human rights abuses in Xinjiang province.

H&M was the main target, but the backlash also hit Nike, Adidas and Puma - all members of the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI), a non-profit group promoting sustainable cotton production. The Swedish fashion retailer is blocked on China's major ecommerce platforms and their physical stores have vanished from some digital maps. Twenty H&M stores remain closed.