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Hennes & Mauritz AB̵
The local branch of the Cyberspace Administration of China said that H&M’s Shanghai department was called by two regulators in the city to correct the errors in the image, and the company said it would make rectifications. on Friday. It did not elaborate on the corrections ordered, and it was not clear which map on the H&M website had the problem.
According to the newspaper “Saigon Giai Phong”, citing the chairman of one of the country’s consumer rights associations, the Swedish company’s changes to its map violated Vietnam’s maritime sovereignty. H&M’s spokespersons in China and Stockholm did not immediately respond to requests for comment outside working hours.
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H&M has recently become a high-profile example of foreign companies being punished for crossing China’s political lines. Faced with the government’s anger against clothing retailers, clothing retailers have criticized human rights violations in the cotton-producing Xinjiang region.
The Communist Youth League and the People’s Liberation Army called on the organization to go back to a September statement that expressed concern about reports of Uighurs engaging in forced labor. H&M outlets disappeared from Apple Maps and Baidu Maps searches, and some shops in small cities were closed by landlords.
China claims to own more than 80% of the land in the South China Sea, and made its claim on a 1947 map showing a blurry dashed line-the so-called nine-dot dash line-extending southward for about 1,100 miles (1,800 kilometers) of Hainan Island . Vietnam, the Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia and Taiwan claim some rights in the same waters and have maintained effective claims relations with China.
China has 800,000 square miles of “city” in the South China Sea
Saigon Jaaibang said that Vietnamese law prohibits companies from using images that infringe their sovereignty, and the images are represented by a nine-dot chain line. According to the newspaper, H&M opened its first store in Ho Chi Minh City in 2017 and currently has 12 stores nationwide.
On the Internet, Vietnamese consumers criticized H&M’s acquiescence to the Chinese authorities. Saigon Giai Phong said that some people have called for a boycott of H&M’s products, asking the company to apologize to Vietnam and resume map changes or close its Vietnamese stores.
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H&M is the latest example of companies getting caught up in a geopolitical crossfire, as countries fight for everything from sovereignty claims to maritime borders.
In 2019, Vietnam ordered movie theaters to stop showing DreamWorks Animation’s “odious” movie because it showed a nine-dot dash on the map. In the same year, Vietnam stated that it would impose fines on Volkswagen’s local dealers and importers for displaying cars with navigation applications that reflect China’s territorial claims.
Although Vietnam has been the most powerful country in the region to overthrow Beijing’s claims in the South China Sea, tensions between the Philippines and China have also been easing.
Philippine Defense Secretary Lorenzana said on Sunday that there were hundreds of Chinese ships near the South China Sea reefs last month, indicating that Beijing intends to occupy more controversial areas.
The Chinese Embassy in Manila said that the waters where the ships were found are “traditional fishing grounds” and “part of China’s Nansha Islands.” The Philippines has issued a formal diplomatic protest to China on this matter, saying that the existence of these vessels has caused concerns about overfishing and navigational safety.
—With the assistance of John Boudreau, Lin Zhu, Rafaela Lindeberg and Daniela Wei