China erasing H&M from internet amid Xinjiang backlash

HONG KONG (AP) — H&M is disappearing from the internet in China as the government raises pressure on shoe and clothing brands. Beijing also announced Friday sanctions against British officials following Western penalties imposed on Chinese authorities accused of abuses in the Xinjiang region. As of Friday, searches for H&M products on Chinese e-commerce platforms turned up no results. There were also no search results for any of H&M’s about 500 stores in mainland China on the ride hailing app Didi Chuxing, and on Chinese map apps from Tencent, Alibaba and Baidu. The near total online erasure of H&M on the Chinese internet shows how quickly foreign brands can suffer a political backlash in one of the biggest consumer markets.