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Muji promotes Xinjiang cotton as Chinese netizens lash rivals

Japanese fashion retailer Muji said on Thursday that its stores in China will continue to carry products made with Xinjiang cotton, separating itself from the uproar by Chinese netizens calling for a boycott of H&M and other foreign brands.

Muji's representative in China was quoted as saying by the Chinese-language edition of The Global Times, a publication affiliated with the Chinese Communist Party, that "our company has been using Xinjiang cotton."

The company's apparel with the label "Xinjiang cotton" were clearly displayed on Tmall on Thursday. It is not clear if Muji is also using Xinjiang cotton for clothes sold in Japan and other countries.

Muji's comments come after rival H&M's products were dropped on Wednesday by Alibaba Group Holding's e-commerce platform Tmall and other online marketplace operators ...

Ryohin Keikaku, the company that operates Muji, has conducted due diligence on all companies in Xinjiang that are involved in its supply chain, a company spokesperson told Nikkei Asia. The investigation was done by an independent auditing body, based on the Xinjiang Supply Chain Business Advisory from the U.S. government and other guidance issued by institutions and governments such as the OECD. ... The audit showed there were no major issues "except for observations that can be corrected," the Ryohin Keikaku spokesperson said in a statement. ... The spokesperson also said that if there were any inappropriate practices, the company would immediately ask its suppliers for corrections, and consider ending contracts if improvements are unlikely to be made.

China is an important market for Muji, which recorded 17% of its total sales from the country during March to November in fiscal 2019. ...

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