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23 May, 2019 11:37

The art of trade war: Chinese firm bans workers from buying American goods & stateside travel

The art of trade war: Chinese firm bans workers from buying American goods & stateside travel

As the US-China trade dispute gets uglier by the day some Chinese corporations seem intent to respond to Washington pressure by fair means or foul.

The Jinggang Motor Vehicle Inspection Station, located in the Chinese province of Jiangsu, has issued a strict warning to its employees, reports The Epoch Times. The New York-based, Chinese focused media site says the instruction, sent by corporate email, requires workers to boycott products produced in the US and stop traveling to the country under threat of dismissal.

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The unusual notice comes amid nation-wide calls to ignore American goods which are actively supported by Chinese local media. The harsh criticism followed the latest developments in the ongoing trade war between Beijing and Washington, when the parties failed to find a resolution on mutual trade deal.

As a result, the White House raised tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports from 10 to 25 percent, threatening to impose further levies on another $300 billion of goods imported from China. Beijing retaliated by increasing import duties on $60 billion worth of US products, starting June 1.

Moreover, the US administration added Huawei and 70 of its affiliates to a trade blacklist, citing non-specific concerns about “national security threats.” Shortly after that, Google confirmed it would sever its relationship with Huawei to comply with the requirements.

“To help our country win this war, company’s authorities have decided that all employees must immediately stop purchasing and using American products,” the note reads, as quoted by the media.

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The ban reportedly targets using iPhones, driving American vehicles, eating at the US food chains, as well as buying home US-branded care products.

“Employees are prohibited from purchasing or using iPhones; instead, they are recommended to use Chinese domestic brands of cell phones, such as Huawei,” the company wrote.

The firm stressed that its workers are not allowed to buy cars made by China-US joint venture manufacturers, but recommended “to purchase 100 percent Chinese-made vehicles.”

Eating in McDonald’s or Kentucky Fried Chicken is also forbidden.“Employees are not allowed to purchase P&G Amway, or any other American brands. and mustn’t not go to the United States as a tourist.”

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The instruction has reportedly spread across Chinese social media, evoking a mixed response among users with some ironically urging people to stop using Windows operating system or planes made by US aircraft manufacturer Boeing.

Earlier this week, Chinese consumers took to online platforms, calling for a boycott of Apple products in favor of Huawei after the US ramped up pressure against the Chinese telecom giant. The step is expected to hurt Apple sales in China in the short-term.

Apple's business in China accounted for more than 17 percent of its global sales in the second quarter, totaling $10.22 billion. The iPhone maker may lose 29 percent of earnings, if the Chinese government strikes back by banning its products, Goldman Sachs warned.

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