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H&M returns to Alibaba’s Tmall after Chinese boycott


H&M in China
H&M’s Chinese business has been hit since it spoke out about human rights abuses
// H&M is back selling on Alibaba’s Tmall platform
// The retailer was removed following its criticism of human rights abuses against the uyghur community, which sparked a consumer boycott in China

H&M has returned to Alibaba’s Tmall, 16 months after the Chinese ecommerce giant removed it from its platform following its criticism of alleged human rights abuses against the uyghur community in China’s Xinjiang region.

Neither H&M or Alibaba have commented on what prompted the return, according to Reuters.

Tmall was one of many Chinese businesses that distanced itself from H&M, when the Swedish fashion giant took a stand and pledged not to source from Xinjiang last year due to concerns about human rights abuses.

H&M faced a consumer backlash following its stand. Its sales in China plummeted 25% over 2021, culminating in a 41% plunge in the fourth quarter as consumers boycotted the brand.

READ MORE: H&M to wind down Russian business

In June, H&M even closed its flagship store in Shanghai as the consumer backlash and lockdowns in the city took its toll. The Shanghai store was its first in China in 2007.

It had more than 500 stores in mainland China, but Reuters reports that its website now only lists 375.

The United Nations estimate that more than a million people, mainly uyghurs and other Muslim minority, have been detained in camps and used as forced labour to pick cotton in Xinjiang,which provides more than 80% of China’s and a fifth of the global production of cotton.

China denies all accusations of abuse.

H&M first opened on Tmall in March 2018. However, since it made a public statement about Xinjiang, the retailer had its online presence greatly reduced in China, where it has only been able to sell via its own website and messaging app WeChat.

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