H&M has been removed by major e-commerce and service apps in China after a Communist Party organization barraged it for a statement expressing “deep concern” over allegations of forced labor in Xinjiang’s cotton industry.
On Thursday morning, a search for “H&M” yielded zero results on e-commerce platforms including Alibaba’s Taobao, JD.com and Pinduoduo, Meituan’s shop-listing app Dianping, map apps from Tencent and Baidu, among other major online platforms in China.
The Swedish clothing giant appears to have pulled its statement which was originally published on its website last year.
On Wednesday, the Communist Youth League, a youth division of the party known for savvy online campaigns, accused H&M of spreading rumors about the rights situation in Xinjiang on the microblogging platform Weibo.
The social media post stirred widespread outrage on the Chinese internet and has been liked 383,000 times within a day.
The Chinese government says it operates “vocational educational training centers” in Xinjiang, the far-west province home to the largely Muslim Uyghur ethnic minority group, as part of its counter-terrorism efforts.
This is a developing story.