China plucks Canada Goose caught in crossfire of Huawei arrest
Shares of the Toronto-based clothing company, whose parkas go for $1000, dropped nearly 20 percent over just four days. At the same time, shares of a Hong Kong-based apparel maker, Bosideng, surged around 13 percent, hitting a five-year high.
Huawei’s Meng Wanzhou had been in custody for ten days after Canadian authorities detained the top-manager of Chinese telecom giant Huawei at Vancouver airport while changing planes. Meng, who was released on bail of about $7.5 million on Tuesday, still faces extradition to the US and up to 30 years in prison over alleged breaches of Washington’s unilateral sanctions against Iran.
According to Chinese state-run media the Global Times, Canadian companies have been affected by the detention of the Huawei CFO. Calls to boycott Canada Goose and other Canadian brands reportedly appeared on the Weibo social-media platform.
“Business activities will not directly reflect changes in politics and the economy, but they are certainly affected by these two aspects,” Liu Ying, a research fellow at Renmin University of China's Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies told the media.
“Canada, as a sovereign state, should not have followed the wrong step of the US by illegally arresting Meng Wanzhou, the aim of which is to wage a war in the high-technology sector by containing China. It is a completely inappropriate approach to competition,” he added.
Beijing threatened Ottawa with grave consequences if it doesn't release Meng. The Chinese government classified the arrest as a serious breach of rights, as it “ignored the law,” was “unreasonable,” and “extremely nasty.” Beijing also summoned US and Canadian ambassadors. Earlier this week, China detained a former Canadian diplomat Michael Kovrig on unknown charges.
The Chinese market is one of the biggest and fastest growing in the world. At the same time, China’s consumer drive keeps growing steadily with focus constantly shifting towards the world’s high-end brands.
Canada Goose may become the next victim of Chinese nation-wide indignation. In November, China’s e-commerce platforms removed Dolce & Gabbana products from their websites after its ad campaign was deemed racist.
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