Amazon faces on-line backlash in China for T-shirts with Hong Kong democracy slogans

SHANGHAI (Reuters) – Chinese language social media customers directed their fury at on-line market Amazon.com on Thursday, after discovering T-shirts on its web site sporting slogans that help anti-government protesters in Hong Kong.

FILE PHOTO: The brand of Amazon is seen on the firm logistics centre in Boves, France, January 19, 2019. REUTERS/Pascal Rossignol/File Photograph

The hashtag “Amazon T-Shirts” grew to become the fourth-top trending matter on China’s Twitter-like Weibo on Wednesday within the newest backlash for an abroad firm that broached issues concerning Hong Kong’s territorial standing.

The widely-read World Occasions tabloid, printed by China’s state-owned Individuals’s Day by day, stated many Chinese language web customers discovered the T-shirts on the market carrying slogans reminiscent of “Free Hong Kong Democracy Now” and “Hong Kong is Not China,” amongst others.

Legions of web customers accused the location of being insensitive towards the Chinese language individuals, with one Weibo commenter writing, “Amazon has already left China, proper? We have to train this firm a lesson.”

The e-commerce large shut its home market Amazon.cn in July, however some abroad items can nonetheless be shipped into the nation. The T-shirts have been accessible on Amazon’s U.S. web site.

The corporate stated in a press release, “Amazon has all the time and can proceed to acknowledge the longstanding and widely-recognized coverage of ‘one China, two techniques’. Each nation the place we function has completely different legal guidelines, and we are going to proceed to respect these native legal guidelines the place we do enterprise.”

Protests in Hong Kong are attracting media consideration throughout the area, as activists have occupied public areas throughout the worldwide monetary hub for greater than 10 weeks, to attract consideration to a perceived erosion of civil liberties in Hong Kong.

At first of the protests, home media from mainland China gave them solely restricted protection however they now dominate headlines in each state-owned newspapers and on-line publications.

A number of celebrities from mainland China severed ties with plenty of vogue labels this week, after on-line customers identified they’d launched attire that referred to Hong Kong and Taiwan as separate from the Individuals’s Republic of China.

Versace, Calvin Klein, and different manufacturers every issued public apologies on-line, both on Chinese language social media accounts or abroad ones.

Coach, which drew hearth for a T-shirt that implied Taiwan was a definite entity from China, stated that in Could 2018 it found a “severe inaccuracy” in one among its clothes objects and pulled it from retailer cabinets.

Reporting by Josh Horwitz; Extra reporting by Jeffrey Dastin in San Francisco; Modifying by Clarence Fernandez and Nick Zieminski

Our Requirements:The Thomson Reuters Belief Ideas.

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