Here's what foreign brands have to say about Xinjiang

Here's what foreign brands have to say about Xinjiang”

But several firms have tried to put distance between their brands and Xinjiang cotton producers since the allegations emerged.

It was unclear when Nike had put out the statement, which did not have a date on it.

The Chinese government has denied all the charges, claiming that those in Xinjiang are vocational centres, part of a project to reduce poverty and fight against terrorism and separatism.

In the undated statement, H&M said it's "deeply concerned by reports from civil society organizations and media that include accusations of forced labor and discrimination of ethnoreligious minorities".

The U.S., U.K., Canada and the European Union imposed sanctions on China over alleged human rights abuses this week, prompting Beijing to retaliate with sanctions of its own.

Shares of Anta Sports Products Ltd and Li Ning Co surged, while shares in Adidas, Inditex and H&M fell on Thursday.

In response, China hit back at the European Union with similar sanctions earlier this week, targeting 10 EU citizens, including politicians, for "gross interference" in its internal affairs, and for "flagrantly violating worldwide law".

"If you boycott Xinjiang cotton, we'll boycott you".

More news: Coronavirus: Germany's Merkel reverses plans for Easter lockdown

H&M's official store on Alibaba's Tmall, an e-commerce platform, was not accessible on Wednesday. Physical store locations were blocked from searches on Baidu and Gaode maps, the equivalent of Google and Apple maps.

Huang Xuan, a Chinese actor who had a menswear contract with H&M, posted a statement saying he would quit the deal, adding that he opposed "slander and creating rumors" as well as "any attempt to discredit the country".

H&M also said in its original statement it would phase out its relationship with a Chinese supplier accused of forced labor.

Nike, Adidas and the BCI did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

A graphic in a commentary from the official CCTV that slammed the company for its stance said that "H&M you are no longer at all fashionable". The social media post stirred widespread outrage on the internet and has been liked 383,000 times within a day, with tens of thousands of user comments calling to boycott H&M.

Gaming giant Tencent pulled a new "skin" project linked with Burberry on avatars in the Glory of Kings game, while Swedish clothing giant H & M's products vanished from shopping sites in apparent retaliation for its decision to no longer source cotton from Xinjiang. The company issued an online statement saying that it does not represent any political position and it respects Chinese consumers.

The editor-in-chief of the state-run Global Times newspaper, Hu Xijin, urged Western companies to be "highly cautious" and not to "suppress China's Xinjiang".

The British individuals and entities had "maliciously spread lies and disinformation" and they and their immediate family members would be banned from entering China or doing business with China, China's Foreign Ministry said. He did not single out any companies.

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