Vietnamese citizens accuse H&M of kowtowing to China over 'problematic map'

Chinese regulators said H&M has agreed to change a "problematic map" online following government criticism. However, the Swedish fashion retailer's apparent concession did not go down well in Vietnam, which holds rival claims to some of the territories contained within the nine-dash line.
Foreign companies in China including H&M and Nike are facing tremendous pressure following their statement on forced labour in Xinjiang. They are also been subjected to pressure amid China's rising tension with the west.(AFP)
Foreign companies in China including H&M and Nike are facing tremendous pressure following their statement on forced labour in Xinjiang. They are also been subjected to pressure amid China's rising tension with the west.(AFP)
Published on Apr 04, 2021 09:12 AM IST
Copy Link
ANI |

Social media users in Vietnam have accused Swedish fashion retailer H&M of kowtowing to Beijing after the company agreed to change the map online to show disputed territories in the South China Sea as part of China.

This comes after Chinese regulators said H&M has agreed to change a "problematic map" online following government criticism. On Friday, the Shanghai branch of the Cyberspace Administration of China said it had been alerted by members of the public to a "problematic map of China" on H&M's website.

It did not specify what was wrong with the illustration, but on Weibo - China's Twitter-like platform - a graphic from an earlier People's Daily report showing the so-called nine-dash line - the mark Beijing uses to claim about 90 per cent of the disputed waters of the South China Sea - was widely shared, South China Morning Post reported.

The Shanghai municipal bureau of planning and natural resources ordered the "error" to be remedied immediately and H&M complied, according to the cyberspace watchdog.

However, the retailer's apparent concession did not go down well in Vietnam, which holds rival claims to some of the territories contained within the nine-dash line.

Twitter users proclaimed that Paracel and Spratly Islands belong to Vietnam "due to international law" and that the H&M brand will now be "fighting against the law" Another social media user called the brand "stupid" and asked it to "get out of the country", using the local names for the Paracel and Spratly island chains in the South China Sea that are claimed by both Beijing and Hanoi.

China claims sovereignty over almost the entire South China Sea and has overlapping territorial claims with Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Vietnam and Taiwan. Beijing's rising assertiveness against counter claimants in the East and South Sea has resulted in unprecedented agreement across the Indo-Pacific.

Foreign companies in China including H&M and Nike are facing tremendous pressure following their statement on forced labour in Xinjiang. They are also been subjected to pressure amid China's rising tension with the west.

Recently, several companies including H&M said they were concerned about allegations that forced labour has been used to produce cotton in Xinjiang.

The ruling Communist Party lashed out at H&M, Nike and other shoe and clothing 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.

Chinese media has called for Chinese boycotts of Swedish multinational retailer H&M, sports apparel powerhouses Nike and Adidas; New Balance; Burberry and other members of the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) that have voiced concerns or pledged not to use supply chain components produced in Xinjiang, South China Morning Post reported.

Swedish multinational H&M, the world's second-largest clothing retailer, has been pulled from major e-commerce stores in China and blocked by several major navigation, review and rating apps.

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 -- a move lauded by state media.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Close Story
QUICKREADS

Less time to read?

Try Quickreads

  • FILE PHOTO: People wearing protective face masks commute amid concerns over the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Pyongyang, North Korea.

    6 more die of ‘fever’ in North Korea amid reports of Covid outbreak

    North Korea on Tuesday reported six additional deaths from "fever," days after announcing its first Covid case, and said it was ramping up the military distribution of medicines. Since the country announced its first Covid case last Thursday, leader Kim Jong Un has put himself front and centre of North Korea's disease response, overseeing near-daily emergency Politburo meetings on the outbreak, which he has said is causing "great upheaval" in the country.

  • Taliban fighters stand guard in Kabul, Afghanistan.

    Taliban dissolve Afghanistan's human rights body, other key agencies

    Taliban authorities in Afghanistan dissolved five key departments of the former U.S.-backed government, including the country's Human Rights Commission, deeming them unnecessary in the face of a financial crunch, an official said on Monday. Dissolved was the High Council for National Reconciliation, the once high-powered National Security Council, and the commission for overseeing the implementation of the Afghan constitution. After taking over last year, the Taliban assured the world they would be more moderate.

  • Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan

    Turkey ‘will not allow’ Sweden, Finland joining NATO: Erdogan

    Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he won't allow Sweden and Finland to join NATO because of their stances on Kurdish militants, throwing a wrench into plans to strengthen the western military alliance after Russia's invasion of Ukraine. At a press conference in Ankara late Monday, Erdogan poured cold water on expectations that Turkish opposition to the enlargement plan could be easily resolved.

  • A protest march in Colombo, Sri Lanka. 

    Sri Lanka down to last day of petrol, PM says ‘next few months most difficult’

    Sri Lanka's new prime minister said on Monday the crisis-hit nation was down to its last day of petrol, as the country's power minister told citizens not to join the lengthy fuel queues that have galvanised weeks of anti-government protests. Appointed prime minister on Thursday, Ranil Wickremesinghe, said in an address to the nation the country urgently needed $75 million in foreign exchange to pay for essential imports.

  • Twitter CEO, Parag Agrawal and Tesla chief Elon Musk.

    Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal talks about spam and facts, Elon Musk replies

    Twitter Parag Agrawal on Monday posted a lengthy thread on spam accounts on the micro-blogging platform – an issue that Twitter's would-be owner and Tesla Elon Musk has been critical of – and tweeted that internal estimates of such accounts on the service for the last four quarters were "well under 5%". Fighting fake accounts has been a cornerstone of Musk bid to reform Twitter, his primary reason to buy out the platform.

SHARE
Story Saved
×
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Tuesday, May 17, 2022