Amazon has come under fire in China for selling t-shirts with slogans in support of the ongoing anti-government protests in Hong Kong.
Chinese social media users said they wanted to “teach this company a lesson” after news that Amazon was selling the t-shirts exploded in the press, sending the hashtag “Amazon t-shirts” trending.
T-Shirts with the slogans “Hong Kong is Not China” were found being sold on Amazon’s US platform, including a description which reads: “Support Hong Kong Democracy Movement”.
Chinese netizens do not buy in the e-commerce giant’s statement and are calling for a boycott of #Amazon, as the offensive t-shirts were discovered to remain available for purchase on its platform after it released the statement. https://t.co/4G5lOVzeZA https://t.co/zWXQ46BD4n
— Global Times (@globaltimesnews) August 16, 2019
China’s popular news publication Global Times, published by the state-owned People’s Daily, reported the items on sale yesterday, sparking the social media backlash which accused the retailer of being insensitive towards China.
Amazon responded to the backlash stating: “Amazon has always and will continue to acknowledge the longstanding and widely-recognized policy of ‘one China, two systems’. Every country where we operate has different laws, and we will continue to respect those local laws where we do business.”
Last month Amazon scrapped its Chinese marketplace amazon.cn, though some goods can still be sent into the country from elsewhere.
Other retailers including Versace, Coach, Calvin Klein, Givenchy, ASICS, and Swarovski have also come under fire from Chinese social media users as the Hong Kong protests escalated.
These retailers all listed Hong Kong, Taiwan and Macau as separate or regions on their websites, sparking outrage from Chinese social media users who recognise them as part of China.