Taiwan entertainers facing boycott on island after slamming authorities over mainland mask ban
Published: Feb 13, 2020 06:12 PM

Barbie Hsu, known as “Big S”. Photo: VCG

Some entertainers from Taiwan are facing a boycott from netizens in the island after donating masks to the Chinese mainland and slamming the Taiwan authority's decision not to export masks to the mainland amid the coronavirus outbreak.  

Barbie Hsu, known as "Big S", her sister Dee Hsu (Little S) and Christine Fan are the three that drew the strongest criticism. According to reports from the island, their comments have jarred many Taiwan netizens, who called for a backlash against products endorsed by these entertainers and left malicious comments under their personal Facebook pages and companies' accounts. 

Global Times found that hundreds of netizens commented on the Facebook page of Helena Rubinstein in Taiwan, threatening to boycott their products if they did not change their brand spokesman Dee Hsu.

"I will never buy your products if Little S is still your product spokesman," read a typical Taiwan netizen's comment, which received many thumbs-up.

A brand spokesperson for Helena Rubinstein told the Global Times on Thursday that she did not know about the issue and will inform the company for further comments.

Netizens from Taiwan also demanded that GENQUO, a clothing brand established by Christine Fan, leave the Taiwan market, after a since-deleted Facebook post by Fan slamming Su Tseng-chang, the chief of Taiwan's executive body, who announced the mask ban, as an "inhuman bastard." 

The topic of boycotting GENQUO on Facebook was liked by more than 400 netizens.

The cosmetic brand La Roche-Posay in Taiwan said on Facebook in late January that it has not used a brand spokesman since 2018. However, photos show images of Christine Fan printed on one of their posters in January 2019, prompting netizens to speculate that the brand is trying to distance itself from her.

The Taiwan authority announced in late January a one-month ban on the export of specialist masks for medical personnel, saying the needs of local residents are their priority. As of Thursday, the island had confirmed 18 cases of coronavirus infection, with one recovered. The number of infected people in the mainland is about 60,000. 

The ban has sparked a huge wave of controversy inside Taiwan, with many slamming the DPP authority led by Tsai Ing-wen, including Taiwan's former leader Ma Ying-jeou.

"We are all human beings. It's worse than the virus if we don't help each other and are without love," Little S commented on China's Twitter-like Sina Weibo.

"We should put aside antagonism and help each other when facing crises… I hope my kid understands the humanitarian spirit and doesn't become a bastard [like the DPP authority]," Big S said on Weibo, after some revealed that she had donated 10,000 masks to Wuhan. 

Global Times found that although Big S has not posted any comment on Facebook since November 19, 2019, in which she said, "Let's pass our love to more people who are needed," her previous posts were swarmed by some Taiwan netizens with hundreds of insulting comments.

"Your support for China (mainland) is heartless and ugly," read one typical example.