China says H & M changed online maps after criticism

Beijing (AP) — China’s regulators on Friday agreed that H & M would change its “problem map” online in response to government criticism, with the Western government over China’s policy in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. He said he put pressure on Swedish retailers in the conflict.

The ruling Communist Party last week imposed travel and financial sanctions on officials accused of abuse in the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region in northwestern China by the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom and Canada, after H & M, Nike and other shoes and clothing. He blamed the brand violently.

The Shanghai Municipal Government’s announcement on Friday did not reveal details, but travel, clothing and other brands were found in Taiwan, the island democracy that Beijing claims as part of its territory, and other sensitive areas. Pressure was put on changing the way they are portrayed on their website. H & M did not respond to the request for information.

“Internet users have reported to H & M website administrators that there is a’problematic map of China’, and the Shanghai Municipal Planning and Natural Resources Department has ordered it to be corrected promptly,” the city government said. Stated.

The H & M manager said in a social media account that he “fixed the error as soon as possible” after being summoned for a meeting with regulators.

The ruling Youth League last week criticized H & M for not buying cotton from the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region in March 2020. Foreign researchers and governments say more than one million people, mainly from Muslim minorities, are being held in detention camps there.

Official media have criticized Nike, Burberry, Adidas and Uniqlo for expressing concern over reports of forced labor in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. H & M’s products have disappeared from China’s leading e-commerce platforms, but other brands are still available. Dozens of Chinese celebrities have withdrawn from approval deals with foreign brands.

Chinese officials have refused to report abuse, stating that the camp is for vocational training to support economic development and fight Islamic extremists.

It’s not clear why H & M was chosen, but Beijing-Sweden relations have been tense since 2005 after a Chinese-born Swedish publisher disappeared in Thailand and emerged in China.

Companies are also under pressure to change how maps show the border between China and India and the conflict areas in the South China Sea.

Beijing is using its access to China’s huge consumer market to pressure brands to adhere to their official position.

They usually obey, but Xinjiang is unusually sensitive. Global brands not only want to avoid inducing retaliation in China, but are also pressured abroad to stay away from abuse.

In a statement this week, H & M praised its Chinese suppliers and said it was “taking the next step in sourcing materials,” but did not show any signs of a step that could soften the Communist Party.