Canada Goose boycott ‘likely’ over Huawei

By Zhang Hongpei Source:Global Times Published: 2018/12/10 21:18:39

Domestic down brands stand to benefit amid rising animosity

Canada Goose's first physical store in Sanlitun, Beijing is scheduled to open for business on Saturday Photo: Zhang Hongpei/GT

Chinese consumers seem to have kicked off a boycott of Canadian goods with the popular Canada Goose brand hit first. If Canada keeps detaining a senior Huawei executive in a complicit move to woo the US, the repudiation of Canadian goods will expand, experts and consumers told the Global Times on Monday.

Toronto-based Canada Goose Holdings Inc, known for its parkas and winter wear, saw its shares plunge by 8.44 percent and 6.64 percent on a daily basis on New York Stock Exchange last Thursday and Friday, respectively, after the Huawei arrest case. The declines offset the increase  posted in a month, according to media reports.

Hong Kong-listed Bosideng saw shares up 0.7 percent at Monday's opening, up 14 percent since last Monday, hitting the record high in five years, reported on Monday.

"Business activities will not directly reflect changes in politics and the economy, but they are certainly affected by these two aspects," said Liu Ying, a research fellow at Renmin University of China's Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies.

"Canada, as a sovereign state, should not have followed the wrong step of the US by illegally arresting Meng Wanzhou, the aim of which is to wage a war in the high-technology sector by containing China. It is a completely inappropriate approach to competition," Liu told the Global Times on Monday.

Meng, CFO of China's Huawei Technologies, was arrested in Vancouver on December 1 and faces extradition to the US after she was accused on Friday of breaking US sanctions on Iran, the BBC reported on Saturday.

In Beijing, Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Le Yucheng summoned Canada's Ambassador to China John McCallum on Saturday to make solemn representations, saying Canada will face grave consequences and be held accountable if the country does not immediately release Meng.

Canada has gone too far in the Huawei case and chosen to be bound with the US. On the other hand, it wants the Chinese market, which is expected to become the largest consumption market this year, Liu noted.

The prospects in the Huawei CFO's arrest case remain murky, adding uncertainty to one of the most iconic Canadian brands' future growth in China.

Zeng Mingyue, a research fellow at the Luxury China Institute of the University of International Business and Economics in Beijing, said luxury brands, embedded with high added-value and representing their original countries' cultural backgrounds, are very likely to be targeted when political or cultural friction emerges and escalates.

Canada Goose has been expanding its direct-to-consumer sales in China this year with the urgent need to beat prevalent knock-offs and broaden its footprint in competition with French fashion brand Moncler.

The retailer also announced plans to open brick-and-mortar stores in Beijing and Hong Kong this year. The Beijing outlet, located in Sanlitun, is under construction and was scheduled to open on Saturday, according to an ad at the site.

A Chongqing-based female surnamed Huang told the Global Times on Monday that she had been intending to buy a Canada Goose parka before Meng was arrested.

"I have been watching closely toward progress of the Huawei case. I feel very anxious about the Canadian side arresting the Huawei CFO out of groundless reason," Huang noted.

"So far, I have not seen any sincere and cooperative attitude from the Canadian side. If the case is not dealt properly, I will definitely not buy the Canada Goose jacket and turn to other similar products," she added.

A Beijing-based white-collar worker surnamed Pan told the Global Times on Monday she bought a Canada Goose item before the arrest.

"If my purchase plan had been after that, I would certainly have given it a second thought. Actually, I have considered Bosideng, especially its joint-designed ones with international designers," Pan said.

"The incident is going to cause some collateral damage to Canada Goose's sales and marketing in China," Amy Zhang, founder of Chinese fashion account Buyerkey, told the Global Times on Monday.

"Domestic down brands like Bosideng has been rising in recent years in terms of design and quality. Even without any boycott toward those foreign brands, domestic ones are still growing robustly," Zhang added.


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