The fashion segment in China is in turmoil. Beijing’s authorities have fined Alibaba 2.8 billion USD. The government is continuing to reduce the size of the e-commerce giant after the disagreements that took place between the Communist Party and latter in the past few months. Meanwhile, a group of NGOs have accused international brands of hiding forced-labor practices and crimes against humanity. That’s because they contract out some parts of production to companies located in the Chinese region of Xinjiang. That is, the region (on the map from wikipedia), at the center of the uiguri scandal. NGOs attach those that work with the locals, all while the government is initiating a boycotting campaign against those that, like Burberry and H&M, are distancing themselves from local chains.
Forced-labor practices and crimes against humanity
Sherpa associations, the Ethical Collective on Etiquette, and the Ouïghour Institute in Europe, along with a uigura victim represented by Bourdon & Associés, announced that they presented an appeal to the Paris Judiciary Court against many apparel multinationals. The accusations, as reported by the NGOs in a note, has to do with “hiding forced-labor practices, organized human trafficking, genocide and other crimes against humanity”.
The associations let it be known that “this is just the first of a series of lawsuits that will be made in other European countries against apparel brands, all with the support of the dall’ECCHR – European Court of Human Rights and by the World Uyghur Congress”.
Those in the cross sight
Associations are focusing their anger towards Inditex, Uniqlo, SMCP and Skechers. They believe that these companies continue to “contract parts of production or sell goods that use cotton made by the region, thus becoming accomplices in grave crimes committed in those areas”.
They are at fault solely because they utilize the local manufacturing chain. Those that on the contrary decided to integrate their supply chain to the region of Xinjiang, come Nike, H&M and Burberry, are being boycotted.
A fine for Alibaba
Among the brands and platforms under attack by Chinese authorities is also Alibaba. After the first hit taken in March, the group founded by Jack Ma has received a 2.8 billion USD fine. The sanction, states ANSA, comes with the accusation, from China’s antitrust entities, that the platform has abused its dominant position in the market. The amount is equal to about 12% of the group’s net profits in 2020.