Fashion brands losing Chinese celebrity ambassadors over forced labour claims in China’s Xinjiang

Sylvia Looi
·2-min read
Celebrities like Eason Chan and Dilireba have cut ties with fashion brands amidst claims of forced labour in Xinjiang. — Picture from Facebook (Eason Chan) & Instagram (dear_dlrb)
Celebrities like Eason Chan and Dilireba have cut ties with fashion brands amidst claims of forced labour in Xinjiang. — Picture from Facebook (Eason Chan) & Instagram (dear_dlrb)

KUALA LUMPUR, March 26 — Fashion brands are losing its Chinese ambassadors after a group of clothing brands rejected cotton produced in China’s Xinjiang amidst claims of forced labour.

Hong Kong Free Press reported that Cantopop star Eason Chan had cut ties with Adidas while Joey Yung had expressed her support for Xinjiang cotton.

The 46-year-old Chan announced in a statement on Weibo yesterday that he and his firm My Kan Wonderland Limited would no longer be ambassadors for the German sportswear brand.

“This company and its artist Mr Eason Chan resolutely boycott any behaviour vilifying China.

“Starting from today, [we] terminate all collaboration with the Adidas brand.”

Adidas, Nike and H&M have come under fire from mainland social media users and state media, after the brands expressed concern about reports of forced labour in the north-west region.

The brands are members of the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI), which promotes sustainable cotton production.

China’s Global Times reported that more than 30 Chinese celebrities including Wang Yibo, Jackson Wang, Zhang Yixing and Dilireba from the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, had cut ties with brands like Nike and Adidas to show support for cotton products from Xinjiang in the wake of the controversy.

Chinese star Huang Xuan, the spokesperson of the Swedish H&M brand, which claimed that it will stop sourcing products from Xinjiang due to concerns about the reports of “forced labour” in the region, was the first to end his cooperation with the brand on Wednesday and stated that he will oppose any attempt to smear or spread rumours about his country.

One of China’s top idols, Wang Yibo, announced he had also terminated his relationship with Nike, since it and other brands such as Adidas have also made similar statements that he finds inappropriate.

The face of Adidas in China, young actor Jackson Yee, who starred in the Oscar-nominated film Better Days, announced yesterday that he had cut all cooperation with the sportswear company.

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