H&M agrees to rectify ‘problematic online map’ after China bullies the brand to change map

3 April, 2021 | Rakshanda Afrin

H&M and 'problematic Chinese maps' World

Facing its latest wrath the Swedish multinational clothing-retail brand H&M has agreed to change a “problematic map” online following Chinese government criticism and backlash. The ruling Communist...

The ruling Communist Party in China has heavily down on brands after the United States, the European Union, Britain and Canada imposed travel and financial sanctions on officials accused of abuses in Xinjiang in China’s northwest. In recent developments China lashed out at H&M, Nike and among other brands over its policies in its Xinjiang region. Reports of arbitrary detention, ill-treatment, sexual violence and forced labor in Xinjiang have been coming out to public knowledge which calls for a necessitated thorough and independent assessment.

However earlier too H&M was heavily put down upon by China’s Youth League when the clothing giant claimed  in March 2020 it would no longer buy cotton from Xinjiang. After coming under fire in China, the company had published a statement saying it hoped to regain the trust of customers in China .Earlier US has banned cotton imports from an influential Chinese producer citing that it says uses the forced labour of detained Uyghur Muslims. Foreign researchers and governments say more than 1 million people from predominantly Muslim ethnic minorities are held in detention camps there. According to the U.S.-based Human Rights Watch (HRW), the government used an expansive data collection project to arbitrarily detain Uighurs in the region. United Nations experts and advocates say at least 1 million ethnic Uighurs, who are mostly Muslim and speak a Turkic language, have been detained at some point in Xinjiang internment camps.

Facing its latest wrath the Swedish multinational clothing-retail brand H&M has agreed to change a “problematic map” online following Chinese government criticism and backlash. International firms like H&M had again to bow down near the communist China while several Taiwanese nationals have pointed out that H&M has put out wrong information by using the wrong map that shows Spratly and Parcel islands owned by China, which is factually incorrect and has been a burning topic between two countries to save the brand’s face at the said country.

UN has been in negotiations with Beijing “without restrictions” to Xinjiang to see how the Uighur minority is being treated. At least one million Uyghurs have been held at concentration camps, according to the US and Australian right groups who have accused Chinese authorities of forcibly sterilizing women and imposing forced labour.

Though Shanghai’s Friday’s announcement gave no such details, but most of the travel, clothing and other brands have been pressured to change how Taiwan which Beijing claims as part of its territory, and other sensitive areas are depicted on their websites. The Chinese govt maintained that Internet users reported to management of H&M’s website that there existed a ‘problematic map of China.’ After being summoned to meet with regulators and left with no choice, H&M managers corrected the error as soon as possible.

China has stoop down this low several times using its great expansionist influence and huge market shares and resources and often lashed out at international firms who refused to carry out the Chinese narratives and claims. Bowing to such pressures and left with no choice China, often bullies such brands which makes it more than crucial for the International community about an alternative world’s shift of order and possible solutions to check and balance China’s ever increasing economic and expansionist prowess.

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