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Western clothes brands vanish as backlash grows

March 27, 2021 2:18 pm

China is targeting more Western clothes retailers as international backlash grows over claims of abuses in the cotton-growing Xinjiang region.

Several major brands have expressed concern over allegations that members of the mostly Muslim Uighur minority group are being used as forced labour.

Some companies’ online shops are blocked and their stores have vanished from some digital maps.

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It comes after several Western countries imposed sanctions on China.

China initially targeted H&M and Nike but that has widened to include Burberry, Adidas and Converse, among others.

While H&M’s physical stores in China remain, it is no longer possible to hail a taxi to the shops using an app and consumers can’t shop online. Instead China is championing local brands.

China is accused of committing serious human rights violations against Uighurs in Xinjiang.

Beijing denies this and has hit back with retaliatory sanctions on European lawmakers, scholars and institutions – with the latest imposed on UK entities and individuals on Friday.

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