China has accused international brands like Nike, H&M, Zara, and Gap of importing kids’ goods that could be harmful for children. The country’s General Administration of Customs issued a warning notice on their website listing items imported by the brands. As per the warning notice a total of 81 batches of imported children's products in five categories, which includes children's toys, children's toothbrushes, children's shoes and pacifier bottles have been labelled unqualified with respect to quality and safety.
As per the customs authority, the findings were part of a routine investigation as per the country’s Commodity Inspection Law. Furthermore, the customs administration stated that the listed items will be destroyed and returned in accordance with the law.
A part of the listed items were girls’ cotton dresses, cotton woven children's underwear from H&M, boys’ cotton knitted pyjamas from GAP and children’s clothes from Zara, which according to the customs administration contain dyes or harmful substances which may be absorbed by the body and endanger a child’s health.
This comes after months of pushback from Chinese authorities towards some of these brands, following statements from the brands about not sourcing cotton from China’s Xinjiang region. Last year China received backlash following a number of allegations that the Muslim Uighur minority group were being forced into labour in the cotton-growing Xinjiang region.
Major Chinese e-commerce platforms like JD.com, Pinduoduo and Taobao have removed many of international brands from their online stores, one of them being fast fashion giant H&M. While H&M’s physical stores remain open in China, their locations have been delisted from the apps of Chinese cab companies, making the brand less accessible to Chinese customers.
Image used for representational purposes only.