In response to H&M’s actions related to the “problematic map”, many Vietnamese consumers have voiced their opposition to this fast fashion brand.
From the evening of April 2, many people spread information that H&M posted an illegal Chinese map of the nine-dash line, seriously violating Vietnam’s territorial sovereignty. This information quickly made hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese angry, causing H&M faces boycott in Vietnam.
Regarding the incident, on the evening of April 2, the Shanghai city government said that the website of the fashion company H&M has agreed to modify the Chinese map. According to the AP, the Shanghai government said internet users had reported “problematic map” on the H&M website. So the Shanghai Department of Planning and Resources asked the Swedish company to quickly fix the map. After being convened, H&M “agreed to the request of the Chinese authorities”.
Previously, the Swedish fashion retailer was at the center of a boycott wave in China because of a statement last year that stated not to use cotton produced in Xinjiang province due to concerns about human rights issues. H&M emphasizes that the current wave of boycotts can cast a shadow over their market activities in China – which remains one of the group’s top four markets.
This H&M’s move is considered an attempt to mend fences in China after angering consumers there. However, this appears to have triggered another crisis when H&M faces boycott in Vietnam.
In Vietnam, Twitter and Facebook users have been circulating images of a crossed-out map of China next to a map of Vietnam reflecting claims to the islands, and demanding the company apologize or have its stores shuttered.
At the moment, H&M Vietnam has still refused to be available for media.
In Vietnam, H&M opened its first store in Ho Chi Minh City in September 2017. Just 2 months later, H&M continued to open stores in Hanoi. Up to now, H&M has 12 stores in Vietnam, including 5 stores in Hanoi, 4 stores in Ho Chi Minh City and 3 stores in Can Tho, Da Nang and Ha Long.