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Dolce & Gabbana: China's e-commerce sites dump luxury brand products



Thousands of D & G goods disappeared from the platforms run by companies such as Alibaba (BABA) and JD.com (JD).

The reaction against the Italian luxury fashion brand began earlier this week after launching video ads with a Chinese woman struggling to eat pizza and other Italian food with chopsticks. The situation was worsened by insulting comments that were allegedly sent from Instagram's personal account to co-founder Stephan Gabana.

Videos and comments quickly spread to Chinese social media, draw accusations of racism, and calls for boycott by celebrities. The furor forced D & G to cancel the high profile fashion show in Shanghai hours before it was due to start on Wednesday.

The fashion house now seeks desperately to limit the consequences. On Friday Gabana and co-founder Domenico Dolce appeared in a video posted on social media to apologize to "all Chinese people around the world".

"Our families have not learned to respect all the cultures of the world," said Dolce. "We hope to receive a pardon for our cultural misunderstandings."

The company apologized earlier and also said the offensive messages sent from the Instagram Instant account are the result of hackers. But this did not stop the reaction so far.

Retailers icon D & G products

E-commerce company Yangtamout announced on Wednesday that it has released 58,000 D & G products, saying "the homeland is more important than anything else."

Dolce & amp; Gabbana canceled the Chinese exhibition between

Lane Crawford, a Hong Kong-based retail chain with several locations in China, announced on Friday that it is stopping the sale of goods from the Italian brand in stores and online after customers began returning them.

"We believe that brands should be aware of the cultural implications of their actions and understand the potential reaction when customers consider their values ​​to be disrespectful," Lane Crawford said in a statement.

Pages for D & G products of Alibaba and JD.com merchant sites are removed, and brand products do not appear in search of sites. Alibaba and JD.com did not respond to requests for comment.

D & G products were also unavailable to other online stores in China, including those of Yoox Net-A-Porter. A spokeswoman for Yoox Net-A-Porter confirmed on Friday that the brand's products were not available on the company's web sites in China, but declined to comment further.

"I do not think anyone will touch them"

Analysts warn that the D & G's apology may not be enough to prevent a decline in sales in the world's second-largest economy.

"The brand's harm in the eyes of Chinese consumers has already been made," said Ben Cavender, a senior analyst in China for market research in Shanghai.

On social media, people sent videos to burn the brand's clothes themselves or cut them to pieces and use them to wash their toilets.

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A bid suggested another risk is that the shopping centers in China choose to start excluding D & G stores.

Hung Huang, a prominent Chinese fashion commentator and magazine publisher, said the use of celebrities from the Italian brand to help market their products is likely to be difficult.

"I do not think anyone will touch them," she told CNN.

Chinese celebrities are already "under pressure" to demonstrate their patriotism after the recent temporary disappearance of film star Fan Bingbing and allegations against her from tax evasion, according to Hung.

"China is very patriotic bent right now, so it will be very difficult to get support," she said.

But Hu Xijin, the chief editor of the national Chinese tabloid Global Times, wrote in social media that D & G should not be too severely punished for the incident.

He argues that China should be more tolerant in order to show the world that it is an open market.


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