Amid strained ties, Japanese fashion firm’s ‘Free Tibet and Dalai Lama prints court Chinese netizen’s wrath

DHARAMSALA, 26 July: Fashion brands and multinational companies running in trouble with China and hurting the sentiments of the Chinese people is nothing new, and Kapital, a Japanese clothing brand has become the latest to join the long list with its ‘Free Tibet collection.

The Kapital’s collection, Kountry catalogue “freewheelin’ KAPITAL ism” which debuted on 23 June with FREE TIBET and Dalai Lama prints on its jackets, shirts, and socks has greatly harmed the feelings of the Chinese people.

Kapital’s comment on its Instagram posts skyrocketed from “fifty to hundreds if not thousands” from angry Chinese respondents as the Chinese netizens apparently took it as an insult as China considers Tibet as its territory while Tibetans and Tibet supporters assert Tibet’s independence, reports

Though the report described the collection “as an apolitical ode to Tibetan Freedom Concerts, given its frequent musical references and otherwise ambivalent stance on comparable hot topics,” the comments from Chinese netizens ranged from exclamations to hatred and insults on Japan.

According to the report, the Japanese fashion brand first has previously faced the ire of the Chinese in late 2019 for its “Kapital Kung-Fu” Kountry collection allegedly for mocking representations of Chinese martial arts. However, Kapital has deleted the posts deemed offending by the Chinese from its Instagram account and has left only a video of the Kountry shoot on its main Instagram page.

However, the entire editorial is still on Kapital’s website.

Delta Air Lines, medical device-maker Medtronic and fashion brand Zara, the German auto giant Daimler, Marriott, Versace, Coach, and Givenchy are among the long list of companies to run afoul of politics and nationalist sentiment in China, cave to China and offer their apologies to Beijing.

The development came at a time when the relationship between Tokyo and Beijing is strained and on the heels of China threatening to nuke Japan non-stop if it tries to defend Taiwan in a propaganda video of the Chinese Communist Party.

However, it is safe to say that the threat has not deterred Japan as Tokyo declared its backing to Australia just last week over its trade war with China while promising a better union and trade relationship than Beijing.

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