After repeated calls online for the Swedish fashion retailer to “get out of the Chinese market”, the brand’s celebrity endorsers in China – Huang Xuan and Victoria Song have announced they’ve also cut ties with H&M.
Calls to boycott the Swedish retailer surfaced earlier after a screenshot of H&M’s statement that it was discontinuing the use of cotton products from China’s Xinjiang region started circulating on Weibo. The statement, which appears to be a year old, describes H&M’s commitment to improve conditions in the garment manufacturing industry and to its supply chain, and that means no longer purchasing cotton from producers in the Xinjiang region where allegations of forced labour run rife.
Despite the statement technically being “old news”, it appears recent sanctions from the international community following the government’s crackdown on the region’s Uyghur minority once again put the spotlight on the case. And outraged netizens unhappy about the company continuing to profit from Chinese consumers despite boycotting Xinjiang cotton have called for the company to leave.
Huang Xuan and Victoria Song Cut Ties
Following the public outcry, H&M’s Chinese menswear ambassador Huang Xuan issued a statement today to confirm that he has already broken off his partnership with H&M. He also says he and his team “resolutely oppose any attempts to discredit the country‘s human rights efforts”. Likewise, women’s wear ambassador Victoria Song also issued her own statement to confirm no relationship exists between herself and the brand. She also emphasised that “national interests supersede everything else, boycott any efforts to sully China’s reputation.”