The Boycott Begins: Chinese Company Orders Employees To “Stop Using American Products, Eating At KFC”
In a harbinger of what’s to come as the US-China trade war gets worse by the day, a Chinese company has told all of its employees to boycott American products and halt international travels to the U.S., reported The Epoch Times.
Jinggang Motor Vehicle Inspection Station notified all employees last Thursday, May 16 that the use of iPhones, driving in American automobiles, eating at American fast food restaurants, using American household products, and even traveling to the U.S. was forbidden by a new company policy; any employee who violated the new rules would be fired. Here are some excerpts from the notice:
“Employees are prohibited from purchasing or using iPhones; instead, they are recommended to use Chinese domestic brands of cell phones, such as Huawei.
“Employees are not allowed to purchase vehicles made by China-U.S. joint venture automakers. They are recommended to purchase 100 percent Chinese-made vehicles.
“Employees are forbidden to eat at McDonald’s or Kentucky Fried Chicken. They are not allowed to purchase P&G [Proctor and Gamble, a U.S. maker of household products], Amway [U.S. maker of health and beauty products], or any other American brands. Employees must not go to the United States as a tourist.”
The company’s memo was emailed to employees several days after state-run newspaper Global Times published an editorial piece that called on the Chinese public to “fight a people’s war” against the U.S.
As a result of a prolonged trade war with the U.S., the company said: “To help our country win this war, company authorities have decided that all employees must immediately stop purchasing and using American products.”
The Times said the notice went viral on Chinese social media platforms: “Computers should be banned as well, because it is a U.S. invention,” one Chinese internet user said. Another said: “Stop using the Windows operating system, everyone.”
However, some Chinese internet users thought it was ridiculous to ban American products.
Earlier this week, people across China called for an immediate boycott of Apple products after the Trump administration targeted Huawei. Trump signed an executive order last week that prevented U.S. firms from buying Chinese telecommunication equipment. Then in a separate announcement, the administration banned Huawei from buying U.S. chips without government approval.
On Weibo, users reacted to the deepening trade war and pressure on Huawei by denouncing iPhones. “The functions in Huawei are comparable to Apple iPhones or even better. We have such a good smartphone alternative; why are we still using Apple?” wrote one user.
“I feel guilty watching the trade war. Once I have money I will change my smartphone,” said another user.
“I think Huawei’s branding is amazing, it chops an apple into eight pieces,” said another post.
Some Weibo users called for a boycott of U.S. chips. “Trump doesn’t allow companies to use Huawei, then let’s not use Apple. We shouldn’t buy any phone that uses Qualcomm as well,” one angry user said.
The ban against Huawei comes days after the Trump administration increased tariffs to 25% on $200 billion of Chinese products. In a tit-for-tat effort, China slapped a 25% tariff on $60 billion worth of American products that go into effect June 1.
Another report showed a restaurant in China was charging a tariff to only American customers. An English translation of the sign read: “From now on, our store will charge 25% service fee (tariff) to American customers. If you don’t understand, please consult the American Embassy!”
Earlier this week, we reported that CCTV 6, the movie channel of China’s leading state television broadcaster, recently aired three anti-American movies.
The three movies are Korean war films: Heroic Sons and Daughters (1964), Battle on Shangganling Mountain (1954), and Surprise Attack (1960).
CCTV 6 has gone trending on Chinese social media today for changing its schedule and playing three anti-American movies for three days in a row, sending out a clear anti-US message while the trade war is heating up. Read: https://t.co/w5aju3vMDs pic.twitter.com/21mEfC5Ha5
— What’s on Weibo (@WhatsOnWeibo) May 18, 2019
All last week, anti-American propaganda flourished across the country, with the slogan “Wanna talk? Let’s talk. Wanna fight? Let’s do it. Wanna bully us? Dream on!” going viral on Chinese social
Another report from Tuesday showed how a song titled “Trade War,” has gone viral on one the largest Chinese social media platforms. The song begins with a chorus singing “Trade war! Trade war! Not afraid of the outrageous challenge! Not afraid of the outrageous challenge! A trade war is happening over the Pacific Ocean!”
As has been the case during previous trade feuds, nationalist sentiment is spreading throughout China, which with foreign markets closing off, may be the only Trump – no pun intended – card left for China’s economy, where even a modest hiccup could lead to recession. Meanwhile, while it is debatable if anyone wins a trade war, the escalating collapse in existing supply chains will only get much worse before it gets better, and will likely lead to a global trade recession or even a depression, which as we showed last week…
… may have already started.