Staff Reporters
Sep 3, 2019

Zara distances itself from Hong Kong protests amid Chinese furore over store closure

Zara's Causeway Bay store closure on Monday has made the brand yet another target for Chinese internet users.

Zara distances itself from Hong Kong protests amid Chinese furore over store closure

Zara is the latest brand to be forced to clarify its stance amid Hong Kong's ongoing political crisis, after one of its Hong Kong stores was found closed during a city-wide strike on Monday.

Hong Kong protesters planned a two-day general strike on Monday and Tuesday, during which a picture of a Zara store closure notice went viral on Weibo.

Zara's store closure notice at Times Square,Causeway Bay, Hong Kong Source: Weibo user

The notice led many Chinese netizens to claim that Zara is supporting the strike, called by Hong Kong protesters as a rebuke of China, while reaping huge profits from China’s rapid economic development in the past decade.

In response, Zara made a statement on Weibo on Monday night, saying it “never supports strikes, nor does it make relevant statements or actions.”

“Zara embraces China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, and has always supported the ‘one country, two systems’ arrangement,” the statement continued.

On Tuesday morning, Zara has become the top trending topic on Weibo, with #Zarastatement garnering over 170 million views in about two hours.

People are split in their discussions under the hashtag, with a small portion calling for a boycott, while most either calling for those Weibo users not to be too sensitive or expressing support for the brand.

One Weibo user named  “扛枪牵狗跟我走” posted: “Please explain why the store closed on Monday. A perfunctory statement can’t appease our anger,” along with a couple of Byebye emojis.

Another user named “樱桃大王0310” commented below Zara's statement: “Closing doors doesn’t mean supporting strikes. It’s simply to avoid losses from chaos and to ensure shoppers’ safety. Zara is definitely an ethical company.”

Early in January 2018, Zara attracted widespread criticism in China after it was found to have listed Taiwan as a country on its Chinese website.

Related Articles

Just Published

54 minutes ago

Women to Watch Greater China 2023

Presenting our third iteration of 25 outstanding and inspiring female talents shaping the marketing and communications industry across Greater China.

1 hour ago

Women to Watch Greater China 2023: Zoe Chou, Tencent

As the PR head of the WeChat team, Chou’s work over a decade has built a massive online communication empire for Tencent, not just in China and worldwide.

1 hour ago

Women to Watch Greater China 2023: Sally Ng, Hivestack

With her media foresight, Ng has brought the region’s attention on the full potential of pDOOH and is helping it scale new heights.

1 hour ago

Women to Watch Greater China 2023: Shengdi Ji, ...

Ji works with brands to break out of the circle in the competitive Chinese market, cultivates conscious brands and educates young consumers while building a young marketing team for the agency.