[The Epoch Times, June 25, 2022](The Epoch Times reporter Xia Yu comprehensive report) Due to the impact of the CCP’s zero policy on consumer demand, and the refusal to useXinjiang cottonFlowers were boycotted by the Chinese Communist Party’s official media and Little Pink. Europe’s largest clothing retailer, Sweden’s H&M, closed its 15-year-old Shanghai storeflagship store.
According to Reuters, H&Mflagship storeOriginally located in a three-story building on Huaihai Middle Road in central Shanghai, it opened earlier this month, but on Friday (June 24), the store was closed and the H&M sign was gone.
It is reported that this closed flagship store is also the first store opened by H&M in China in 2007. H&M currently has 26 stores in Shanghai, excluding closed flagship stores.
H&M is also the second largest fast fashion retailer in the world. In 2007, H&M entered China with the opening of its flagship store in Shanghai and expanded rapidly. Early last year, H&M had more than 500 stores in mainland China, but its website currently lists only 376, including its flagship store in Shanghai.
H&M declined to comment to Reuters, saying it was in a quiet period ahead of its quarterly results due on Wednesday.
Although it has been nearly a month since Shanghai announced the lifting of the blockade, there is no sign of a large number of consumers returning to shopping malls. Fashion retailers are struggling with a lot of unsold inventory. Even online retailers have struggled to eliminate the glut caused by lockdowns and supply disruptions.
Under the zero policy, government retail data showed that a measure of consumer spending on goods and eating out fell 6.7% in May after falling 11% in April. At present, some retailers facing inventory backlogs are reducing orders in the fourth quarter, and are pinning their hopes on the next Singles Day on November 11 (Double 11) to clear their existing inventory.
H&M has said that its cotton will no longer be sourced from Xinjiang after the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI), an international organization promoting sustainable cotton production, ceased ties to Xinjiang in October 2020. H&M refusesXinjiang cottonAfter the statement was exposed, it was attacked by the CCP state media. Subsequently, H&M’s stores on major e-commerce platforms such as Taobao, JD.com, and Pinduoduo were removed from the shelves. At the same time, some Chinese actors have also announced the termination of their contracts with H&M.
Other brands that have publicly ditched Xinjiang cotton, such as Inditex-owned Zara, Nike and Adidas, have also been hit with boycotts by Little Pink, as well as refusal by some Chinese celebrities to cooperate.
However, the resistance against H&M has been particularly fierce. Unlike other brands, H&M products are still unavailable on major Chinese e-commerce sites such as Tmall and JD.com.
UN experts and human rights groups estimate that more than a million people, mainly Uighurs and other Muslim minorities, have been detained in a sprawling system of concentration camps in the Xinjiang region in recent years. Many Uighurs who have been detained say they have been ideologically brainwashed and abused in the camps.
The U.S. government and some European countries or parliaments have also rated the CCP as committing genocide or crimes against humanity in Xinjiang. China, as always, has denied all allegations.
The closure of H&M’s flagship store in Shanghai is the latest sign of a foreign company pulling out of mainland China. Under the pressure of the CCP’s censorship and virus clearance policies, the list of foreign companies withdrawing from the Chinese market is growing. Starting June 2, Amazon (Amazon.com) stopped providing Kindle e-readers to retailers in China and will close its Kindle e-book store in China next year.
Nike announced on June 8 that it will stop operating the “Nike Run Club” app (NRC App) in China from July 8 this year, while temporarily suspending the Chinese version of the SNKRS App and conducting a comprehensive upgrade.
On May 24, Airbnb, an American shared accommodation platform, announced that it will officially withdraw from the Chinese market this summer. It is the last large American Internet company operating in China.
Responsible editor: Li Yuan#