BY SILVI WRITER and GLOBAL TIMES
Chinese e-commerce giants have blocked Dolce & Gabbana by removing the firm’s products from their platforms, shortly after the Italian fashion brand was caught in allegations of racism.
The Global Times on Thursday morning typed “Dolce&Gabbana” into the Alibaba-operated Tmall online shopping platform but found no relevant products. On JD.com, another well-known e-commerce website, there are several books on the company which are still for sale.
Dolce & Gabbana “has been boycotted by the three Chinese giants in this sector”, Tmall, JD.com and Suning, cross-border operators NetEase Kaola and Ymatou, and luxury e-commerce companies such as Secoo, Vip.com and Yhd.com, jinronghu.com has reported.
As of press time, the official Chinese website of Dolce & Gabbana is still operating.
Dolce & Gabbana has been accused of racism over promotional videos it released on Chinese social media ahead of a scheduled fashion show in Shanghai Wednesday, which was later canceled because of the backlash.
In the videos posted on Weibo and other social media platforms, an Asian woman is using chopsticks in playful ways to eat Italian food, causing an outcry over whether the videos are insulting to China and using racist stereotyping to depict Chinese people.
Later, media reported that an Instagram user called Diet Panda, who has an account which criticizes the fashion industry, added fuel to the fire by posting screenshots of an alleged conversation between design director Stefano Gabbana and another fashion designer on Instagram.
The chat record appears to show Gabbana using abusive language toward China and Chinese people, and complaining about the reaction to the promotional films, sparking further fury.
The company later issued a statement claiming the Instagram account had been hacked and said that it was investigating. It apologized to Chinese consumers and said:
“We have nothing but respect for China and the people of China.”
Geng Shuang, a spokesperson for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, said on Thursday that he hoped the scandal would not morph into a ‘diplomatic’ one.
“You’d better ask ordinary Chinese people to see what they think about this issue,” he told reporters at the ministry’s daily press briefing.
The Global Times saw that many people have posted comments on Dolce & Gabbana’s Weibo account, slamming the brand for discriminating against China while at the same time selling products to domestic customers.
Currently, the fashion brand has more than 51 stores in 25 cities in China, including in Guangzhou, Beijing and Shanghai.