Written by Parth Jain, a grade 10 student
Recently, fashion brands like Sweden-based H&M and sports brand Nike have been boycotted in China.
The background is this.
A few months ago, both these brands voiced concerns about reports of forced labor used to produce cotton in Xinjiang, China. H&M had said that it was deeply concerned about the reports of forced labour and also ill-treatment of the minorities in the areas (mostly Muslim Uighurs – read more about theme below). Nike too said that the company does not source products from Xinjiang.
Now, eight months after the statement, H&M is facing anger from Chinese consumers online. The government has also said that the companies should be boycotted. Chinese celebrities are also doing the same.
Chinese singer and actor Wang Yibo confirmed that he has cut all ties with Nike. According to some reports, anchor Viya (livestreaming) sold Xinjiang cotton products worth of 23.53 million yuan ($3.59 million) in an hour livestreaming on Friday that was being viewed by 12 million people.
Xinjiang lies in the northwest of China and is the country’s biggest region. It’s mostly a desert area, but it produces a fifth of the world’s cotton. Many brands buy cotton from here to make their clothes.
A quick background to this story – human rights abuses against a minority called the Uighurs
The Uighurs are a Muslim minority community that lives in Xinjiang. There have been reports of brutality against the Uighurs and it is believed about a million Uighurs, Kazakhs, and other Muslims have been forced into camps, and being intimidated into giving up their identities by the Chinese authorities.
This is what the two brands – H&M and Nike – had spoken about, which upset the Chinese and they started boycotting their products.
International outcry agianst the genocide
Leaders from across the world have spoken out against the human rights issue in Xinjiang. The European Union, the US, Britain, and Canada have imposed sanctions on Chinese officials and entities on Monday.
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