With the Xinjiang cotton controversy escalating between China and the West, many A-list Chinese celebrities stand with China and dropped their endorsement contracts with the associated fashion brands.
Due to concern that cotton sourced from Xinjiang were made with forced labor from minority detention camps, the United States has banned the import of Xinjiang cotton since January, with more foreign governments expected to do so as well. Other textile fibers produced in Xinjiang may also come under scrutiny and if also banned would potentially disrupt global supply chains.
Last September, Swedish fashion retailer H&M issued a statement indicating its concern over labor issues in Xinjiang and decided to stop buying cotton from growers in the region. A similar statement was made by Nike, as well as many other fashion retailers. The allegations stirred a social media storm last week, with many Chinese reprimanding the retailer for “wanting to make money in China while spreading false rumors and boycotting Xinjiang cotton.”
China countered that the forced labor claims are unsubstantiated without any concrete evidence.
A week into the backlash from China and boycott outrage, these brands are now trying to win back Chinese consumers. As China is one of the biggest consumers in the fashion goods market, some brands have quietly removed references to the Xinjiang forced labor issue from their websites.
Nevertheless, many prominent celebrities remain firm in supporting China and have terminated their endorsement contracts as follows:
H&M, Nike, and Tommy Hilfiger: Huang Xuan (黃軒), Victoria Song (宋茜), Wang Yibo (王一博), Tan Songyun (譚松韻), and William Chan (陳偉霆).
Converse: Bai Jingting (白敬亭), Nana Ou-Yang (歐陽娜娜), and Lay Zhang (張藝興).
Uniqlo: Ni Ni (倪妮), Jing Boran (井柏然), Roy Wang (王源), and Lei Jiayin (雷佳音).
Puma: Yang Yang (楊洋), Li Xian (李現), Liu Haoran (劉昊然), Liu Wen (劉雯), Gulinazha (古力娜扎), and Greg Hsu (許光漢).
Calvin Klein: Lay Zhang (張藝興), Greg Hsu (許光漢), Liu Yuxin (劉雨昕), and Chinese girl group THE9.
New Balance: Zhang Zifeng (張子楓) and Meng Meiqi (孟美岐)
The brand that lost the most brand ambassadors is Adidas: Yang Mi (楊冪), Dilraba Dilmurat (迪麗熱巴), Eason Chan (陳奕迅), Angelababy (楊穎), Jackson Wang (王嘉爾), Eddie Peng (彭于晏), Janine Chang (張鈞甯), Song Yanfei (宋妍霏), Deng Lun (鄧倫), Peng Yuchang (彭昱暢), Ren Min (任敏), Ding Yuxi (丁禹兮), Jackson Yee (易烊千璽), and Taiwanese singer Chen Linong (陳立農).
This article is written by Huynh for JayneStars.com.