Dolce & Gabbana Removed From China’s Biggest Shopping Websites Over ‘DG Loves China’ Furor

Dolce & Gabbana store at a shopping complex in Shanghai
Major e-commerce sites in China, including Alibaba and JD.com, have pulled out stocks of Dolce & Gabbana products from their platforms in an answer to the insensitive ‘DG Loves China’ advert. (Photo: REUTERS/Aly Song)

Major online shopping platforms in China have been pulling out Dolce & Gabbana products amid backlash over the racist and suggestive "DG Loves China" advert.

As previously reported by the Business Times, the campaign in questions is comprised of three videos where a Chinese lady was presented with stereotypes. In the videos, she was having a hard time using chopsticks to eat pizza, pasta, and cannoli. For the video featuring the cannoli, the male voice-over narrator asked the lade whether it was "huge for her." The videos were also intended to be of low quality, depicting the Chinese culture in clichés seen from decades-old movies.

The pull-out of thousands of Dolce & Gabbana products from major e-commerce platforms is happening just as Bain & Company released a study saying that Chinese consumers' dominance in the worldwide luxury market remained unrivaled in 2018.

Late on Wednesday, e-commerce site Yangmatou announced it pulled out 58,000 D&G products from the platform. NetEase Inc also removed D&G products from its Koala online shopping store. A check on Alibaba Group Holding's Tmall would also reveal that D&G products were no longer available. The same goes for another tech giant, the JD.com.

Bloomberg was first to report about the major pullouts. 

The furor over the insensitive advert has compelled Dolce & Gabbana to cancel a big event in Shanghai. Major celebrities and models canceled their appearance hours before the show started.

Singers Karry Wang and actress Dilraba Dilmurat, both D&G ambassadors for the Asia Pacific region, decided to end their contract with the fashion brad due to the controversy.

Zhang Ziyi, who starred in "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon," also declared a boycott of D&G products, joining thousands of Chinese calling for the move.

Chinese Victoria Secret runway model, Estelle Chan, lauded the cancellation of the Shanghai event. In an Instagram message, she said China is rich with values and its people will not buy anything from a brand that disrespected the country's culture.

Observers are now saying that Dolce & Gabbana may lose the Chinese market altogether.

If this happens, it would be unfortunate for the brand as Chinese continue to be the biggest driving force behind the growth of the worldwide luxury market, according to the latest edition of Bain & Company's annual research on luxury market trends.

The study predicts that the overall luxury market will reach $1.2 trillion by 2025 and one major driver of this is the Chinese market.

The study noted that between 2015 and 2018, Chinese consumers spent twice as much shopping for international luxury brands in their local stores than how much they spent shopping abroad.

Chinese share of global spending now accounts for 33 percent of the global luxury market, an increase from 32 percent in 2017.

The share of Mainland China has also increased to 9 percent up from 8 percent in 2017. Luxury sales grew in Mainland China by 18 percent, driven primarily by the rising demand for luxury brands in the region.

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