Hong Kong beverage maker stocks have shown the biggest decline in history after seeking a boycott of the company in China.
Vitasoy shares fell 14.6%. This is the largest one-day drop since its listing in 1994.
The call was in response to a memorandum of condolences to a man’s family who stabbed a Hong Kong police officer.
A Vitasoy worker committed suicide on Thursday after stabbing a police officer. This is the anniversary of the transfer of British to Chinese rule to the city.
It was also the 100th anniversary of the Chinese Communist Party.
It is not clear what the attacker’s motive was, but authorities described him as a “lone wolf domestic terrorist.” Police officers are said to have had holes in their lungs.
The deceased was the director of the Vita Soi unit in Hong Kong, according to Chinese media reports Global Times.
In a statement on China’s social media platform Weibo on Saturday, Vitasoy said it had circulated a note that staff described as “very inappropriate” without permission.
He added that the memo was “not officially approved, but personally transferred by the employee” and reserves the right to take legal action against the employees involved.
“The Vitasoy Group sincerely apologizes for any trouble or dissatisfaction caused by this. We support the long-term prosperity, stability and development of Hong Kong,” said Vitasoy.
Workers’ notes have caused a flood of online phones seeking a boycott of Vitasoy, which earns about two-thirds of its income from mainland China.
By Sunday, the hashtag #Vitasoygetout0047mainland had recorded about 100 million views.
Hong Kong police describe the puncture wound as an attempted murder and a terrorist attack by a lone wolf.
They also said computers seized from his home showed that the attackers had “radified”, but police did not provide further details on the alleged radicalization.
Hong Kong officials warned on Sunday that appealing to people to mourn the attackers was the same as “supporting terrorism,” and criticized parents who took their children to mourn him.
The incident occurred on July 1st. This is an important date in both Hong Kong and mainland China.
Relations between Hong Kong police and their people are sometimes tense. In the 2019 anti-democratic movement, police were accused of responding protesters in a generous manner.
A poll suggested that Hong Kong police approval dropped from 66.9% in 2017 to 36.8% in 2020.
It is not uncommon for consumer boycotts to occur in China.
Last week, Swedish fashion giant H & M saw sluggish sales in China months after being targeted by a Chinese boycott. Sales in China in the second quarter of 2021 were down 23% in local currency compared to the same period last year.
H & M was one of several brands that expressed concern about alleged human rights abuses against Uighur Muslims in China’s Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region.