'Boycott China' T-shirts and caps in India were not made in China: insiders

By Huang Lanlan Source:Global Times Published: 2020/6/22 21:43:59

A picture of "Boycott China" cap that goes viral on social media (photo: Weibo)

Online gossip has been spreading that some Chinese manufacturers have been caught selling hats, tees, and banners with anti-China slogans such as "Boycott China" to India; however, this is very likely faked, the Global Times found.

In fact, Chinese laws and regulations prohibit the export of products brandished with anti-China content and graphics, a government source told the Global Times on Monday, adding it should be "common sense" to manufacturers and exporters that such activity is punishable.

However, there have still been some images circulating of caps and tees being printed with slogans such as "Boycott Made in China" "Boycott Chinese products" and "I hate China," leading to the images going viral amongst Indian netizens online, echoing India's recent nationalism and rising anti-China amid the recent China-India border clash.

Many of these pictures showed these "Boycott China" caps and tees ironically having labels saying that the products were made in China, awkwardly implying that some Indian nationalists may have to buy made-in-China products to display their own feelings of animosity toward China, netizens found.

Nonetheless, several textile product exporters told the Global Times that they have neither made nor sold any "Boycott China" items.

It is actually illegal to produce and export products containing anti-China slogans such as "boycott China" "hate China" and "spit on China," said Hu Lulin, a flag and banner exporter in Yiwu, the world's largest trading center for daily consumer goods in East China's Zhejiang Province.

"Products with pro-terrorism slogans are banned as well," Hu told the Global Times on Monday.

This was confirmed by lawyer Li Qinbin, who told the Global Timers that China's trademark and advertisement laws contain clauses which prohibit products and promotions from including matters that "hinder social stability."

He Jinqi, a staffer with another banner shop in Yiwu, said he hasn't received any inquiries from Indian clients regarding anti-China products.

China's export industry insiders analyzed that the products with boycott-China slogans and made-in-China marks were added by Indians, not Chinese.

"One possibility is that, Indian sellers printed the slogans on the plain T-shirts and caps that were imported from China," Song Chen (pseudonym), a manager at Yiwu International Trade City, told the Global Times.

The Global Times reporter on Monday searched the key words "Boycott China" on Alibaba.com, an English-language international trade site under Chinese e-commerce company, and didn't found any matching results.

On Amazon.com, there were some related results, but none of which were shown as coming from China; that is, among its latest T-shirts with "Boycott China" slogans for sale, many were produced by an Indian manufacturer based in Jharkhand, the Global Times found.

Neglecting the fact that these items were not made in China, a conspiracy theory has appeared on social media that attacked Chinese exporters for intentionally irritating Indian customers to boost their own sales. 

"China is forecasting a huge boycott China campaign, which means millions of Indians will be buying the caps and shirts for this campaign," wrote a Quora user with ID "Piyush Sharma" on Saturday, claiming to be an Indian college student.


blog comments powered by Disqus