Tiffany Joins the NBA in Kissing Up to China

Tiffany Joins the NBA in Kissing Up to China

Tiffany Joins the NBA in Kissing Up to China

Move over, NBA. Tiffany & Co., that venerated New York City jewelry house, is also genuflecting to Communist China. Tiffany groveled before the ChiComs by pulling an ad which had triggered them about Hong Kong. Because creative marketing that offends some people will not be tolerated.

Here is the ad which Tiffany pulled from Twitter:

So what’s wrong with that? you might ask.

The lovely woman pictured in the ad is the Chinese model Sun Feifei, wearing a Tiffany ring while covering her right eye. Trouble is, some Chinese consumers think she is making a not-so-veiled reference to two Hong Kong women whose eyes were injured by police in protests. In fact, some protestors have adopted the pose while demonstrating.

And that triggered the Chinese.

One person posted on China’s Weibo social media platform (remember, China does not allow Twitter):

“I used to be your hardcore fan, but now I’m a Chinese first and foremost. I love my country and I won’t allow her to receive any defamation or violation.”

Another person wrote:

“Whoever buys their products is blind.”

Never mind that the the company created the image in May, long before the protests in Hong Kong flared. But this past spring saw sales grow over 25 percent in mainland China. Plus, the company has 35 stores in China, so of course profits rule over patriotism.

Tiffany promptly bent over and grabbed the ankles for Communist China.

“We regret that it may be perceived as such, and in turn have removed the image from our digital and social media channels and will discontinue its use effective immediately.”

However, that’s not surprising. Tiffany fervently wants to rule the high-end jewelry market in China, so in September the company decided to absorb the Trump tariffs rather than pass them along.

This kowtowing to the feelings of the ChiComs isn’t new, either. This past summer the luxury brands of Givenchy, Coach, and Versace apologized to China for producing T-shirts that seemed to identify Hong Kong as an independent nation. They also pulled those products.

Even American video game companies are bowing to Beijing. The game company Blizzard suspended a Hong Kong player for 12 months and rescinded his prize money after the player expressed support for the protestors. Blizzard said that he had violated a competition rule, which they pointed out. . .

“. . .brings you into public disrepute, offends a portion or group of the public, or otherwise damages Blizzard image.”

Trendy sneakers are also kowtowing.

The sneaker company Vans pulled several designs from its annual sneaker design contest, including the one below, since the artists showed support for the Hong Kong protests in their artwork. In addition, several stores in Hong Kong pulled their Vans products.


Screenshot: @demosisto/Twitter.

Vans responded with a feeble statement, which reads in part:

“As a brand that is open to everyone, we have never taken a political position and therefore review designs to ensure they are in line with our company’s long-held values of respect and tolerance. . .”

Respect and tolerance. As long as no one upsets the powers in Beijing, that is.

U.S. China expert Gordon Chang, in response to the NBA folding to the ChiComs, tweeted:

“In the not too distant future, companies may have to decide whether they are loyal to #China or to America.”

How sad that so many companies have come to this point.


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Featured image: Mike/flickr/cropped/CC BY-SA 2.o.

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Kim is a pint-sized patriot who packs some big contradictions. She is a Baby Boomer who never became a hippie, an active Republican who first registered as a Democrat (okay, it was to help a sorority sister's father in his run for sheriff), and a devout Lutheran who practices yoga. Growing up in small-town Indiana, now living in the Kansas City metro, Kim is a conservative Midwestern gal whose heart is also in the Seattle area, where her eldest daughter, son-in-law, and grandson live. Kim is a working speech pathologist who left school system employment behind to subcontract to an agency, and has never looked back. She describes her conservatism as falling in the mold of Russell Kirk's Ten Conservative Principles. Don't know what they are? Google them!

  • “In the not too distant future, companies may have to decide whether they are loyal to #China or to America.”

    I suspect the decision won’t be a hard one. They’ll just see where they’re making the most profit.

  • R.C. says:

    Would a surtax on income earned in China (charged to any business doing business in both the U.S. and China) coupled to an offsetting earned-income credit on income earned anywhere else, be sufficient to balance the scales? Set the surtax percentage equal to the percentage of the company’s income that derives from Chinese sales, so that there’s literally incentive to keep that percentage low.

    I’m normally on the free-trader, libertarian side of interventionism. But after all this unseemly censoriousness and kowtowing, I’m at the point with Xi that I think all text-to-speech AIs distributed in U.S. markets should be required by law to pronounce his name as “Winnie the Pooh.”

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