Fashion giant H & M expects Chinese sales to fall after boycott of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region

Guangzhou H & amp; M Store

H & M faced backlash in China for refusing to use cotton in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region

Swedish fashion giant H & M suffered sluggish sales in China months after being targeted by a Chinese boycott.

H & M was one of several brands that expressed concern about alleged human rights abuses against Uighur Muslims in the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region of China.

With that statement, celebrities cut off their ties with brands and e-commerce platforms and quit H & M.

Sales declined despite the mitigation of the pandemic and the return of H & M’s global business to the black.

China accounted for about 5% of retail group sales last year and is one of the largest suppliers.

H & M’s sales in China were down 23% year-on-year in local currency in the second quarter of 2021.

“For China, the situation remains complex, other than referring to what has been said so far,” said CEO Helena Helmerson when H & M first quantified the impact of the boycott.

This is the second largest fashion retailer in the world Pre-tax profit for the quarter exceeded expectations of $ 420 million (£ 305 million), After making a loss at the same time in 2020.

Why was H & M boycotted in China?

Several Western brands, including H & M and Nike, Recently faced a backlash from Chinese shoppers After companies have expressed concern about the alleged use of Uighur forced labor in cotton production.

In March, H & M was removed from China’s online retail platform Tmall and the domestic phone maker’s app store after expressing concern about the use of Uyghur forced labor in cotton production.

However, in late March, H & M said it was dedicated to regaining the trust of its customers and partners, China, and said its commitment to China remained strong.

Nike’s boss, who also faced a boycott in China last week, strongly defended the sportswear giant’s business in China.

“Nike is a brand for China, and for China,” said CEO John Donahoe, answering a question about competing with Chinese brands.

Mr. Donnaho commented inside Nike’s Fourth Quarter Revenue DiscussionShows that revenue doubled to $ 12.3 billion (£ 8.8 billion) in the three months to the end of March.

What is Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region? Who are the Uighurs?

  • Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, the largest region in China, produces about one-fifth of the world’s cotton. It is an autonomous region in theory and is actually facing increasing restrictions in recent years.

  • Millions of Chinese Uighurs, a minority of Muslims who take pride in being culturally and ethnically close to Central Asian countries, live in the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region.

  • In recent decades, the mass migration of Han Chinese (Chinese minorities) to the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region has fueled tensions with Uighurs and at some point burned into deadly violence.

  • This has resulted in extensive security crackdowns and extensive national surveillance programs, with critics saying it violates the human rights of Uighurs.China says such measures are needed to combat separatism and terrorism

  • Uighurs are detained in camp Allegations of torture, forced labor and sexual abuse have surfaced. China denied these claims, saying the camp was a “re-education” facility aimed at saving Uighurs from poverty.

In March, a group of Western nations imposed sanctions on Chinese officials for infringement of Uighurs.

Sanctions were introduced as a collaborative effort by the European Union, the United Kingdom, the United States and Canada.

In December, the BBC announced a survey based on new findings. China has forced hundreds of thousands of ethnic minorities, including Uighurs, into manual labor in cotton fields in the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region...

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