Chinese propagandists celebrate social media attacks on H&M in the face of allegations of forced labor

Chinese propagandists celebrate social media attacks on H&M in the face of allegations of forced labor

Propaganda officials quietly celebrated in Beijing two days after a Chinese post on social media helped spark a wave of anger against Western clothing brands, according to people familiar with the matter, in what they saw as a victory in a fresh effort to immunize China against criticism. from the West.

The hype that set Hennes & Mauritz AB’s H&M and Nike Inc. Adidas AG and other bold names for the global retail business, threatening them with a loss of revenue in one of the world’s most profitable consumer markets, with a message from a Twitter China blogger – such as the Weibo service on March 23, according to an analysis by Doublethink Lab, a non-profit organization based in Taipei, which searched Chinese disinformation online. China was set ablaze the next day through state media and Communist Party social media accounts.

The campaign directed at H&M and other companies over its expressions of concern over forced labor and discrimination against the Muslim-majority Uyghur minority in China’s remote Xinjiang region comes as Beijing is drawing lessons from what it sees as a successful battle with the West over another – the Button case, Hong Kong.

At a meeting late last month, officials from the Chinese Foreign Ministry and the Communist Party’s Propaganda Department raised the example of Hong Kong, and spoke of the need to retreat from Xinjiang as international attention shifts to the Uyghurs, according to people familiar with the measures. .

After the outbreak of pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong in 2019, Beijing authorities initially monitored news on the Chinese Internet before. Reverse the path Promote the protest images as evidence of an alleged plot by Western powers to destabilize China. The Communist Party since then He strengthened his grip In the former British colony, gaining support at home despite opposition from Western governments.

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