CHINA / SOCIETY
Chinese e-commerce platform removes Vitasoy drinks amid public outrage over its condolences to police-stabbing employee
Published: Jul 04, 2021 01:46 PM
The Global Times reporter found on Sunday that all the Vitasoy drink products are not available on the Dingdong Maicai, a Shanghai-based online fresh produce and grocery vendor. Photo: Screenshot

The Global Times reporter found on Sunday that all the Vitasoy drink products are not available on the Dingdong Maicai, a Shanghai-based online fresh produce and grocery vendor. Photo: Screenshot


A Chinese fresh food e-commerce platform has removed Vitasoy drink products after the Hong Kong-based enterprise was criticized for offering condolences to an employee who stabbed a Hong Kong police officer on Thursday and later committed suicide.

The Global Times reporter found on Sunday that all the Vitasoy drink products are not available on the Dingdong Maicai, a Shanghai-based online fresh produce and grocery vendor.

A customer service employee of the platform confirmed with the Global Times on Sunday that the Vitasoy drink products have been removed.

Many Chinese netizens support the removal, and some have called for more platforms to boycott the Vitasoy.

The Vitasoy drink products are still available on China's e-commerce giants JD.com and Taobao as of press time.

Netizens' call for the boycott against the Vitasoy came after a knife attack on a Hong Kong police officer on Thursday evening. The attacker, surnamed Leung, described by authorities as a "lone-wolf domestic terrorist," was an employee of Vitasoy. 

A Vitasoy document circulating online since Friday shows the company expressing "deepest condolences" to the family of the attacker, which sparked huge backlash for its ambiguous attitude toward the employee.

Leung, 50, had worked for the now-closed Hong Kong secessionist tabloid Apple Daily for several months, Hong Kong media reported.

Faced with mounting pressure online, Vitasoy made a statement on Chinese Twitter-like social media platform Sina Weibo on Saturday early morning saying it fully supports Hong Kong authorities in conducting a thorough investigation into the case based on the national security law.

Later it released another statement on Saturday noon, saying the circulating internal memo that used "very improper wording" and caused widespread criticism was written by an "individual employee" unauthorized by the company.

It seems the two statements have not yet calmed public anger. 

"Firmly boycott Vitasoy that fosters terrorist behaviors," reads one typical repost of the latest statement.

Raymond Siu Chak-yee, Commissioner of Police of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, said those who glorified violence were inciting murder, poisoning young people and endangering the safety of the public, when interviewed by the local magazine East Week on Saturday.

Hong Kong Police Force's national security department took over the attempted murder and suicide case, according to an official statement, Hong Kong media reported on Sunday.

Initial investigation by police revealed that this was a lone wolf-style act of domestic terrorism. The national security department is now conducting investigations to find whether there were any accomplices, whether the attacker was incited by others or if someone else is behind the incident.
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