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Barça renounces H&M as sponsor for political reasons

There are many precedents, and Houston Rockets and Ozil know this well

Barça renounces H&M as sponsor for political reasons  There are many precedents, and Houston Rockets and Ozil know this well

Barcelona has broken off negotiations with H&M, at least for the time being, so as not to come into conflict with China, and therefore also with some of its sponsors such as Oppo and the Chinese government-owned Taiping Life Insurance company. Rewinding the tape, about a year ago H&M raised doubts about the respect of civil rights towards the Uighur minority, a Turkish-speaking ethnic group of Islamic religion living in north-west China. The accusations and the Swedish brand's firm decision to stop buying cotton from Xinjiang created strong tensions between H&M and the Chinese government, which did not remain defenceless. China responded by blacking out all of the Swedish brand's e-commerce and making the 500 physical shops disappear from the main geolocators.

Now that the issue has become topical again, Barca has temporarily suspended all negotiations. A decision dictated by political and economic reasons, the budgets have been in the red for some time and despite the refinancing of the debt at the end of the season the club is looking for partners. As reported by the newspaper ara, H&M would have paid about three million a year for sponsorship with the Catalan club, a figure considered low considering the problems that could arise. For this reason, Barcelona cannot afford retaliation in a market as important as the Asian one, given what happened to Mesut Ozil, guilty of having publicly expressed his support for the Uighur ethnic group. The Chinese government did not take those statements very well, cancelling from the state TV, Arsenal - Liverpool, scheduled a few days later. 

Chinese government interference is certainly nothing new and the NBA knows it well, very well indeed. In 2019, Daryl Morey, the then general manager of the Houston Rockets, shared a tweet expressing his support for the protesters in Hong Kong, triggering the wrath of the Chinese government. The response was not long in coming, and for about a year the Chinese state broadcaster suspended the airing of almost all games indefinitely. The boycott lasted almost a year, with the NBA only returning to the airwaves on 7 March 2020 for the All Star Game. According to SportsEconomy, this has resulted in a loss for the league of 400 million. And considering the multi-million dollar joint venture between China and La Liga that was signed at the end of the season, the club did well to stop all negotiations so as not to run into another dispute like the one between Konami and Griezmann, which also involved Barcelona, albeit indirectly.