European companies in China are facing an increasingly politicized business environment, the European Union Chamber of Commerce in China said in a statement, reported the South China Morning Post.
“Public opinion in Europe is demanding that companies demonstrate clear and transparent corporate social responsibility principles,” the chamber said. The chamber, which represents more than 1,700 companies, issued the statement as Swedish multinational clothing retailer H&M is facing criticism and a boycott after saying last year that it did not source cotton from Xinjiang.
Other foreign companies, including British luxury brand Burberry, American sportswear firms Nike and New Balance, and German athletics wear label Adidas, have also come under fire after being named by People’s Daily as companies that did not use Xinjiang cotton.
“There are many foreign companies that have released statements ‘cutting ties’ with Xinjiang cotton in the past two years,” the Communist Party mouthpiece said on Weibo, China’s Twitter-like social media platform.
Topics about Chinese celebrities ending their endorsement deals with international brands have been trending on Weibo, along with hashtags like, “I support Xinjiang cotton”, “It is the [companies’] loss if they miss out on Xinjiang cotton”.