Locations for H&M clothing stores in China did not show up on Apple Maps searches in China on Friday, The Wall Street Journal reportedamid growing anger among Chinese consumers over the company’s decision to stop purchasing from the Xinjiang region. The company has more than 400 stores in China, but all H&M locations are now missing from maps, rides and e-commerce applications, the log found it. Apple relies on a Chinese card company AutoNavi for its Apple Maps in China
It was the latest of several Western brands, too includes Nike and Adidas, who are facing calls for boycotts in China. The United States. announced last year it would halt imports of cotton and other goods from Xinjiang, despite allegations that the Chinese government uses forced labor in its production. Earlier this week, the Biden administration announced it imposed sanctions on two Chinese officials for what it says, the ongoing human rights violations against the Uyghur Muslim population in China.
In response, the Chinese government and the state media have pushed for boycotts of Western brands. On Wednesday, the Youth League of the Communist Party in China pointed out H & Ms statement from last year, in which the company said it was “deeply concerned about reports from civil society organizations and media containing allegations of forced labor and discrimination against ethno-religious minorities in Xinjiang.” H&M said it would not source cotton from the Xinjiang region as a result.
In a statement posted on his Weibo page earlier this week, H&M China said the company “did not represent any political position” and that the company “continues to respect Chinese consumers.”
The log reported that searches for H&M in Apple Maps on an iPhone, or in Baidu Maps in China, returned no results, while other retailers seemed normal. H&M has been removed from the Alibaba e-commerce platform this week, the log
Update March 26 1:45 PM ET: Adds details about Apple Maps in China