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China comes down on dissenting western brands

Other western brands, including Nike, Adidas and H&M facing backlash from China

Burberry (LON:BRBY) has received backlash from China over disputes around human rights abuses of Uighur muslims in Xinjiang.

Chinese actress Zhou Dongyu terminated her contract as a Burberry ambassador because the company had not “clearly and publicly stated its stance on cotton from Xinjiang”, while the fashion brand’s famous tartan design was removed from a popular video game.

Burberry, a member of the Better Cotton Initiative, said in October that it was discontinuing its approval of cotton sourced from Xinjiang on concerns over human rights abuses.

The luxury fashion brand’s share price is down by 1.84% on Friday as its long-term prospects look under threat.

Burberry are not the only ones. Nike, H&M and Adidas are also facing the possibility of a boycott as the brands voiced concerns over the alleged use of forced labour in producing cotton in the Xinjiang.

While the relationship between China and some of the more established US brands is fractious, Elon Musk appeared to curry favour with the most populous country on earth in an effort to secure Tesla’s market position for the long-term.

“I’m very confident about Tesla’s future in China,” Musk told CCTV during an interview. “The Chinese economy I think can do extremely well over the next decade and will become the biggest economy in the world. And it’s also committed to a sustainable energy future,” he added.

The Tesla chief also heaped praise on the Chinese government’s plans to dominate economically over the coming years, as well as its climate targets.

Xi Jinping said last year that China will achieve carbon neutrality by 2060, while aiming to hit peak emissions by 2030.

China is the second largest market for Tesla behind America, accounting for 20% of the company’s revenue, according to a recent filing.

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