A top Chinese clothing brand JNBY is facing backlash after one of its clothing lines produced children’s clothes with images of people identified as Indians being shot at and phrases like “welcome to hell” and “let me touch you” embossed on them.
The brand JNBY apologised and pulled the clothing line in question after the complaint of a mother went viral on Chinese social media this week.
A report in the state-run tabloid Global Times called the prints “inappropriate” and “horrific” but avoided mentioning the anti-India images that were found on clothes made and sold by JNBY.
The woman, identified as Mogu Mogu on Chinese social media, wrote that her family bought one of the shirts for her 4-year-old son.
She shared photos of a white shirt with the images and remarks in black, the meaning of which she realised only recently as it was bought by her son’s grandparents who don’t speak English.
“Welcome to hell. Excuse me? Who are you welcoming? And all these images of purgatory … a child aged four wearing such a shirt. Just the thought of it disturbs me,” she was quoted as saying by the Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post (SCMP).
Soon after her post went viral, another user shared the photo of anti-India imagery. “The whole place is full of Indians. I will take this gun and blow them to pieces,” the SCMP report said.
The company has since apologised on the lifestyle sharing app Xiaohongshu. “We apologise for the concern caused to customers caused by the design and will tighten regulation,” the customer service said on the official T-mall store of the brand, the Global Times report said.
The company did not explain how inappropriate words and images ended up being printed on clothes.
The Hong Kong-listed company, based in the city of Hangzhou in eastern China, describes itself as “the most influential designer brand fashion house in China”.
The company says its “universal brand philosophy” is “Just Naturally Be Yourself”.
According to Global Times, by the end of last year, the company had 1,931 stores nationwide, and overseas stores in the US and Canada.
In the fiscal year ended June 30, JNBY saw sales rise 33.1 percent year-on-year to 4.126 billion yuan ($638.70mn).
The angry mother, however, is still fuming.
“Between 2018 and 2019, it produced and sold many such clothes. Thousands of children may be wearing them. As far as I know, several mothers protested at its T-mall shop or physical shop last year after buying this one, but the issue was left unsettled,” she said in a follow up post quoted by the SCMP.