Western brand logos censored on Chinese TV shows in wake of boycott calls

Chinese people had called for boycott of these foreign brands as they expressed concern over alleged human rights abuses in Xinjiang.

Julia Yeo | April 08, 2021, 04:08 PM

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Chinese TV broadcasters have been blurring out the logos of Western brands in their shows, resulting in some rather bizarre scenes where even the whole torsos of people were completely blurred out.

Chinese TV companies boycott Western brands by blurring them out

This move came after the past statements of several brands such as Nike, Adidas, and H&M saying that they would not use Xinjiang cotton over concerns of forced labour resurfaced on Chinese social media.

The revelation led to intense backlash among patriots on China's Twitter-like platform Weibo, with many calling for the boycott of brands that refused to use Xinjiang cotton.

Several Chinese celebrities also rushed to support Xinjiang cotton, boycotting Western brands and terminating their contracts with the companies.

Some Chinese TV stations have also taken it upon themselves to show their unhappiness with Western brands for their refusal to use Xinjiang cotton, by blurring the brands out in their TV programmes, reported the BBC.

Some programmes extensively censored

The most notable ones included popular Chinese reality shows "Youth With You" and "Produce Camp 2021", both which had extensive editing to blur out the offensive logos.

"Youth With You", which was aired on iQiyi, appeared particularly challenging to censor due to the large number of participants wearing uniforms with the sportswear brands' logos.

Screenshot via iQiyi

Screenshot via iQiyi

Produce Camp 2021 also had extensive censoring.

Screenshot via iQiyi

Some viewers pointed out that at some point, the full torso of some participants were even blurred out completely, as they were wearing clothes with the logos of the targeted Western brands.

Before the wave of boycotts happened, this was what the contestants' outfits looked like:

Screenshot via iQiyi

Other TV production companies also followed suit, taking part in the boycott in similar fashion.

iQiyi, the production company behind "Youth With You", issued a notice on Mar. 25 announcing a delay in an upcoming episode but did not give a reason, said the BBC.

When the episode was released, viewers saw that brand logos on the participants' clothes had all been blurred out.

What's the boycott all about?

Western brands including Nike, Adidas, and H&M had made statements in the past that said they would not use Xinjiang cotton over concerns of alleged forced labour.

Following Western sanctions imposed on Chinese officials over China's human rights abuse allegations in Xinjiang, these statements were dug up by netizens, resulting in widespread outrage and calls for the boycott of the brands in question.

Personalities taking opposing views regarding the Xinjiang cotton controversy have also been attacked on Weibo.

Vicky Xu, a prominent journalist and known critic of China, has been called a "race traitor" and "female demon" for her coverage on the human rights crisis in Xinjiang.


The sanctions imposed by the United States, the European Union, Britain and Canada, are largely symbolic as they are not expected to influence China's behaviour or impact its economy.

However, they represent a coordinated Western move against China since U.S. President Joe Biden took office. Biden has pledged to fight China by building on American allies.

China has since retaliated with sanctions of its own on European lawmakers and institutions, and said the move was "based on nothing but lies and disinformation".

Top image via iQiyi, Disclose.tv/Twitter