Mainland market power sways Lancôme

Source:Global Times Published: 2016-6-7 0:15:51

Hong Kong entertainer Denise Ho has hit the headlines recently. After she announced last week that she would be performing at a concert organized by French cosmetics giant Lancôme, mainland netizens launched a boycott of the brand.

Ho was one of the most prominent activists during the 2014 Hong Kong Occupy Central Movement. Mainland netizens then began to boycott her and her harsh response further enraged the mainland public. Last month, she posted her photos with the Dalai Lama on Facebook, writing "I could feel the blessing and energy rushing through my body just by holding his hands." The disagreement between her and mainland opinion is deepening.

Lancôme responded fast by releasing a statement saying Ho was not a spokesperson for the brand and canceled the planned concert, citing "safety reasons." But the real reason is self-explanatory.

Some Hongkongers slammed Lancôme for groveling to the mainland and vowed to resist the products of Lancôme and parent company L'Oreal. It seems that Ho has pushed Lancôme into a dilemma. Apparently Lancôme has given more consideration to the sentiment of the mainland public, because the mainland boasts a much larger market than Hong Kong. As a commercial company, it is bound to seek commercial gains, a wisdom it is supposed to have under complex situations. No big companies would like to step into politics as the high stakes have already been proved by previous cases.

Entertainers often stay away from politics. The more successful they are, the more they are mindful not to cross the line. But there are a few who want to seek the spotlight by touching politically sensitive issues.

Ho's high-profile stance in the Occupy Central protests won her some support within Hong Kong. However, she has lost virtually all of her work on the mainland and became the target of censure by mainland netizens of celebrities who support Hong Kong independence or Taiwan independence.

But some Hongkongers also called for a boycott of pro-mainland entertainers such as Jackie Chan. Such incidents now often occur on the mainland Internet. Ho's fierce political stance makes her an unavoidable target of netizens. Perhaps she has prepared for it or even calculated the losses and gains.

The mainland public has realized that they are an influential market force. They will be picky about external celebrities who count on China for business while tarnishing China's image. If they want to gain from the market of the Chinese mainland, they must not harm China's national interests, no matter if they are in or outside China.

Posted in: Editorial

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