The Swedish group H&M has shut down about 20 of its 500 outlets in China. According to the Taiwan Newsagency, some of the closures might have resulted from Chinese landlords forcing out the shops, while local consumers vowed to boycott the brand.
Chinese media had called for Chinese boycotts of Swedish multinational retailer H&M, Nike, Adidas, New Balance, Burberry, and other members of the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI). These brands have voiced concerns or pledged not to use supply chain components produced in Xinjiang. These BCI brands face tremendous pressure after saying that they were concerned about allegations that forced labor has been used to make cotton in Xinjiang. China has been rebuked globally for cracking down on Uyghur Muslims by sending them to mass detention camps, interfering in their religious activities, and sending community members to undergo some form of forcible re-education indoctrination.
Dozens of Chinese celebrities have terminated contracts or said they would cut ties with these brands, including Nike, Adidas, Puma, Converse, Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger, and Uniqlo, in a move lauded by state media.
The ruling Communist Party lashed out at these brands last week after the United States, the European Union, Britain, and Canada imposed travel and financial sanctions on officials accused of abuses in Xinjiang in China’s northwest.