China’s Online Army Shows Foreign Brands Who’s in Charge
BEIJING, China — As geopolitical storm clouds gather, China’s most powerful weapon may not be tariffs or riot police, but ordinary consumers at their keyboards.
Beijing is increasingly finding itself under siege as President Donald Trump’s trade war squeezes the world’s second-largest economy and protests in Hong Kong call into question China’s hold over the territory. But as it has in the past, China is finding support from an increasingly nationalistic online community, who use the pitfalls of multinational companies to drive home their point.
A growing list of global brands, from Versace to Calvin Klein, have been forced to apologise in recent days after an army of Chinese internet users called them out for products and company websites that identified Hong Kong as a country, not as a city.