Chinese urged to boycott French goods

Chinese consumers have been urged to boycott French goods in response to the raucous protests that accompanied the Olympic torch through Paris.

The appeal, circulated on internet chatrooms and bulletin boards, indicates the protests earlier this week have not only embarrassed the Beijing government, but also ignited a strong nationalist reaction among sections of the Chinese public.

The appeal to boycott French goods appeared on the internet on Wednesday and has spread widely among young Chinese. A web page bearing a petition appeared to have been blocked on Thursday afternoon.

Companies named in the campaign include luxury brands owned by LVMH, such as Louis Vuitton and Givenchy, and the cosmetics group L’OrĂ©al, which has a large business in China.

The torch relay in London was badly disrupted and the route of the San Francisco leg was changed at the last minute to avoid protests, but it is the events in Paris that appear to have angered Chinese most.

Internet postings complained about the banner in support of human rights draped outside Paris city hall. A photograph of a man trying to grab the torch from a Chinese girl in a wheelchair drew many responses. The man wore a hat in the colours of the Tibetan flag.

(Financial Times)

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