CHINA / SOCIETY
Chinese public voices support for Xinjiang cotton, turns to domestic brands over H&M, Nike
Published: Mar 25, 2021 12:50 PM
Photo: VCG

Photo: VCG


Chinese netizens voiced their support for domestic brands after H&M and Nike came under fire in China for refusal to use Xinjiang cotton.

As of press time, 11 topics related to Xinjiang cotton have been hovering on the trending list of China's Twitter-like social media platform Sina Weibo, with each topic attracting tens of millions of views and discussions. 

So far, most of China's major e-commerce platforms, including Taobao, T-Mall and JD.com, as well as online sharing platform Dazhong Dianping, have cleared all products and search results related to H&M in response to its refusal to use Xinjiang cotton. Chinese brand ambassadors for H&M and Nike have also pulled out of their deals. 

Outraged netizens also applauded the Communist Youth League of China's post, which said, "Spreading rumors to boycott Xinjiang cotton while also wanting to make money in China? That's wishful thinking!"  

Another post by CCTV News on Weibo saying "No one will pay for lies!" also won widespread support.

Wuikatimes,the parent company of a chained shopping mall in Xinjiang's capital Urumqi, which has an H&M store, issued a statement requiring the brand to apologize to Xinjiang people. "H&M follows Western political topics to boycott Xinjiang cotton, which is ignorant and arrogant......Wuikatimes, a retailing leader in Xinjiang, firmly safeguards the national image and interests," reads the company's statement.

The Urumqi shopping mall posted the statement on its WeChat account. In response to a netizen's comment calling for the shopping mall to order the closure of the H&M store, it said "will do tomorrow." 

Besides boycotting those foreign brands, netizens also shared their experiences of buying Xinjiang cotton products, frequently using the words "warm and comfortable" to describe quilts, sheets and other products.

Under the hashtag of "I support Xinjiang cotton" on Weibo, there are 850 million views, with some netizens posting photos taken from some time ago showing the clothes tag of domestic sports brand Lining, which read, "We choose to use fine cottons from Xinjiang that give the fabric a high-quality touch." 

Many people shared screenshots of orders being placed with Lining and other domestic brands that use Xinjiang cotton to show their support for the region.

The stock market also gave a dramatic response to the incident, with domestic brands and textile stocks showing a robust increase. Lining's stock price went up over 7 percent. 

With the Xinjiang cotton industry becoming a hot topic, many people also shared their knowledge of the cotton and textile industry in Xinjiang to refute Western smears such as forced labor. 

Videos showing cotton picking machines driving across expansive cotton fields amazed many, who did not know the region's cotton industry had become so highly automated. 

A netizen shared a story of his uncle, who has been planting cotton in Xinjiang for two years with government bonus policies, refuting lies of forced labor on Xinjiang. 


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