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H&M quietly returns to China’s Tmall after 16 month boycott

By Rachel Douglass

Aug 16, 2022

Business

Image: H&M Media Gallery

Fashion giant H&M has re-opened its official store on Alibaba’s e-commerce platform Tmall, after 16 months of absence.

The Chinese site took the retailer down after the brand criticised human rights abuses in Xinjiang and pledged not to use cotton from the region.

The Swedish group, which launched on Tmall in 2018, joined many other retailers in taking a stand against the controversy in March last year.

While brands such as Nike, Adidas and Burberry saw celebrity ambassadors sever ties with the companies, H&M was among the only retailers to have its online identity removed in China.

Since March 2021, H&M has only been able to sell via its own online website and WeChat programme, and not through third-party platforms.

The move came after UN experts and human rights groups estimated that over a million people, mainly Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities, were detained in recent years in camps. However, China denied all accusations.

Initially reported by Reuters, the reason for re-opening has not yet been made clear, with both parties yet to respond to the publication’s request for comment.

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