Swedish fashion retailer H&M has been accused by Vietnamese social media users of bowing to China’s pressure and changing an online map to show disputed territories in South China Sea as part of China. However, Chinese regulators refuted these allegations saying, the online map had been altered with H&M assent following government criticism.
As per reports, Shanghai branch of the Cyberspace Administration of China was alerted by members of the public to a problematic map of China on H&M's website. The Shanghai municipal bureau of planning and natural resources ordered the error to be remedied immediately and H&M complied, according to the cyberspace watchdog.
China claims sovereignty over almost the entire South China Sea and has overlapping territorial claims with Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Vietnam and Taiwan. Beijing's rising assertiveness against counter claimants in the East and South Sea has resulted in unprecedented agreement across the Indo-Pacific.
Foreign companies in China including H&M and Nike are facing tremendous pressure following their statement on forced labour in Xinjiang. They are also been subjected to pressure amid China's rising tension with the west.