TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Several Taiwanese actors have joined China's boycott campaign against global apparel makers for their allegations of forced labor in Xinjiang.
Anger with Western fashion brands — including Nike, Adidas, H&M, Converse, and Calvin Klein — erupted on Chinese social media this week after netizens spotted old statements in which the companies expressed concern about reports of forced labor in Xinjiang. The backlash came on the heels of Monday's (March 22) decision by the European Union, Britain, Canada, and the U.S. to sanction four Chinese officials over human rights abuses in the autonomous region.
Since late Wednesday, a slew of A-list Chinese actors and musicians, including Hong Kong singer Eason Chan (陳奕迅), have terminated their endorsement contracts with the likes of H&M, Nike, and Adidas. Some popular Taiwanese celebrities have also joined the movement.
Eddie Peng (彭于晏), Janine Chang (張鈞甯), and Greg Hsu (許光漢) all gained fame through appearances in Taiwanese films. On Thursday, they announced the termination of their contracts with representing brands.
In statements published by their agencies, the Taiwanese stars voiced resolution in condemning "attempts aimed at defaming China" while emphasizing that "National interests must come first."
The decision of the three actors to join China's boycott campaign attracted a huge backlash from Taiwan's internet community. Many netizens criticized the stars for "voluntarily" kowtowing to Beijing for money, while some defended their freedom to choose sides.