Netizens slam vendors, maker of T-shirts that support HK violence

By GT staff Source:Global Times Published: 2019/8/18 18:57:02

T-shirts with slogans like "Free Hong Kong, Democracy Now" on Amazon's website Photo: a screenshot of the Amazon website

Outraged Chinese netizens over the weekend went after the vendor and manufacturer of offensive T-shirts supporting violent protests in Hong Kong that appeared on the website of US online retail giant Amazon. 

They dug out the name of the owner of the vendor and manufacturer of the T-shirts, which public information suggested was a company in Ningbo, East China's Zhejiang Province. 

Zhejiang is known for rolling out goods quickly and at affordable prices to global buyers. Yiwu in the province is known as the world's capital of small commodities. 

Netizens found the vendor goes by the name Slantyboy and is associated with a company in Ningbo and a person named Gao Xiangyu. 

At, a Beijing-based online query site for business information, Gao was shown as owning two companies under the Isomer Group Inc, one in Ningbo and the other in Dalian, Northeast China's Liaoning Province.

The Dalian company has already had its license suspended, while the Ningbo company engages in the trade of auto parts and clothing. The Ningbo company has registered capital of 1 million yuan ($142,000) and employs about 50 people.

A police officer on duty at the Ningbo Xincheng Public Security Bureau, where is the company is located, told the Global Times on Sunday that so far there had been no report concerning illegal activities by the Isomer Group branch in Ningbo.

T-shirts with images and slogans like, "Free Hong Kong, Democracy Now" were seen on Amazon. The incident stoked so much anger among the Chinese that the US company posted a statement acknowledging its support to the "one country, two systems" principle.  

Many Chinese vendors were outraged and they influenced the rankings of goods and T-shirts with slogans supporting China's sovereignty or the Hong Kong police, which topped the pages. But similar T-shirts bearing similar content can still be found by changing the key words for the search, causing immense displeasure in the Chinese online community.

Zhuo Saijun, an analyst at consultancy Analysys International, told the Global Times on Sunday that business entities operating in China found to be making goods such as these offensive T-shirts are subject to penalties by market regulatory authorities. 

Zhuo said the current incident exposed a weak link in the global supply chain that involves small-batch goods containing questionable content.

Education is important to increase the awareness of entrepreneurs in China over sovereignty issues, Zhuo noted.

"The other way to counter such situations is to manage the sales channel, like increasing customs checks for goods bearing illegal or inappropriate words or images at the upstream. In case this is too difficult, intervention is needed at the downstream as soon as the issue arises," Zhuo said.

The incident came amid the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region's ongoing unrest that has lasted for about two months, with rioters and secessionists inciting and staging violence across the city. 

Amazon is the latest e-commerce company to come under fire in China for products and actions that many Chinese people see as disrespectful to China's sovereignty and, in turn, Chinese consumers. Fashion brands such as Versace, Givenchy and Coach have been facing backlashes after listing Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan as countries.


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