The ruling Communist Party criticized H&M for saying in March 2020 it would stop buying cotton from the northwestern Chinese region.
BEIJING, China — H&M disappeared from the internet in China as the government raised pressure on shoe and clothing brands and announced sanctions Friday against British officials in a spiraling fight over complaints of abuses in the Xinjiang region.
H&M products were missing from major e-commerce platforms including Alibaba and JD.com following calls by state media for a boycott over the Swedish retailer's decision to stop buying cotton from Xinjiang. That hurts H&M's ability to reach customers in a country where more than a fifth of shopping is online.
Shockwaves spread to other brands as dozens of celebrities called off endorsement deals with Nike, Adidas, Burberry, Uniqlo and Lacoste after state media criticized the brands for expressing concern about Xinjiang.
Tencent, which operates games and the popular WeChat message …