After all the protests during the U.S. and European legs of the Olympic Torch Relay, I figured a call to boycott Chinese goods may follow. Instead, it's the Chinese who are rallying behind a boycott.
The Financial Times reports on an online appeal asking Chinese consumers to stop buying French goods. Targeted brands include Louis Vuitton, Givenchy and L’Oréal.
I found one Chinese blogger who called the boycott appeal "immature" but nonetheless criticized Olympic protesters:
Olympics is like the Wedding Ceremony of PEOPLE in China, not the government. Imagine your reaction if someone try to ruin YOUR wedding, instead of your governor's wedding? Now the wedding of 13 billion people started to be ruined. Its not the government official who are not happy, it is everyone in the country who feel being hurt. Please understand the difference, and think about what is going to happen.
It remains to be seen whether such a boycott will gain popularity or have lasting effects on French companies. However, it's worth noting that France isn't even among China's top 10 trading partners, and that the same Financial Times piece notes that "a campaign against Japanese companies three years ago had little lasting impact."
On the contrary, a Chinese boycott of French goods, says Stratfor, a global intelligence service, "could come back to bite Chinese brands — potentially those of corporate Olympic sponsors."