Chinese star Huang Xuan, the spokesperson of the Swedish brand, which claimed that it will stop sourcing products from Xinjiang due to concerns about the reports of “forced labor” in the region, was the first to end his cooperation with the brand on Wednesday and stated that he will oppose any attempt to smear or spread rumors about his country.
Huang’s decision opened up the scene of Chinese stars to end contracts with such brands.
Wang Yibo and his statement of ending contract with Nike. Photo: VCG and Sina WeiboOne of China’s top idols, Wang Yibo, announced he had also terminated his relationship with Nike, since it and other brands such as Adidas have also made similar statements that he finds inappropriate.
The face of Adidas in China, young actor Jackson Yee, who starred in the Oscar-nominated film Better Days, announced on Thursday that he had cut all cooperation with the sportswear company. The announcement comes after netizens questioned his endorsement of the brand. Also, Hong Kong star Eason Chan, has cut off the cooperation with Adidas as of Thursday evening.
Jackson Yee and his statement of ending contract with Adidas. Photo: VCG and Sina WeiboOn Thursday, the Chinese reality show Youth With You announced that the show’s Thursday episode would be delayed, yet did not give a reason. Netizens speculated that the delay could be related to the Adidas scandal as the brand has previously sponsored the show.
The boycott has not been limited to entertainment circles.
On Thursday, training photos released by the Chinese Super League (CSL) team Shanghai Shenhua show that the Nike logo cannot be seen on the players’ uniforms. Nike is the sponsor of all CSL teams.
Since the controversy began earlier this week, over 50 influential celebrities, such as hot idol Xiao Zhan, have voiced their support for Xinjiang cotton. Young celebrity Ouyang Nana from the island of Taiwan also posted a message of support on Sina Weibo. The movement has also spread to internet celebrities as Viya, China’s most iconic female livestreamer, began selling cotton products from Xinjiang during a recent stream.
A post showing a screenshot of Chinese actor Chen Xuedong’s online shopping basket, which was full of products from Chinese sports brand Li Ning sporting “Xinjiang cotton” labels, has also received numerous likes by netizens on Sina Weibo. The related topic has earned more than 280 million views.
Sweden’s fashion retailer H&M, a brand producing fast fashion clothing, was earning pretty money from the Chinese market, but is now being boycotted by Chinese netizens, who are calling for it to “get out of the Chinese market.”
Chinese netizens’ resentment was sparked by the brand’s previously made official announcement that it will stop sourcing products from Xinjiang due to concerns about the reports of “forced labor” in the cotton-producing region. Chinese consumers took to social media to express their fury at the company for “spreading rumors.”