The Chinese government has accused H&M, Nike, Zara and other brands of importing children’s clothing and other merchandise from poor quality, in a new headache for foreign companies that Beijing attacked because they denounced the possible existence of forced labor in the northwest of the country.
On International Children’s Day, customs published a list of “defective quality and safety” products from 16 companies such as t-shirts, toys, and toothbrushes.
The announcement marks a setback for foreign brands attacked by the state press in March following accusations by governments and human rights groups that Beijing employs forced labor in the Xinjiang region in the northwest.
An H&M store in Beijing. Photo: AP
State TV called for a boycott of H&M to a statement from the company that it would stop using cotton from Xinjiang. The official press criticized other companies for expressing concern about the possibility of forced labor.
Chinese online trading companies they removed merchandise H&M from their sites, while app stores removed H&M, Nike and Adidas apps. Several celebrities canceled their promotional contracts.
Product safety raises concerns in China after a series of scandals caused by milk, medications and other poor quality or counterfeit products that have caused death or illness.
The situation in Xinjiang
About 1 million people, mostly from Muslim populations, they are locked in detention camps in Xinjiang. The Chinese authorities have been accused of practicing forced sterilization and destroy mosques.
Chinese authorities reject the allegations, saying the camps are for job training to promote economic development and combat extremism.
They have lobbied foreign brands to reject allegations of forced labor and take a more careful look at Xinjiang.
Nike, Zara and H&M did not immediately respond to requests for comment.