Swedish fashion house H&M has been fined $40,200 in China for misleading customers, according to a report in the South China Morning Post.
H&M’s advertisements said certain products were only available in China, something which was not true and which could lead consumers to purchase the products based on false information.
Chinese authorities also confiscated 30,000 yuan in “illegal income” for the sale of “substandard products”, and ordered the business to cease publication of the illegal advertisements and to stop producing and selling products that don’t meet China’s quality standards.
The fashion retailer is one of several that have been high on China’s radar since it said it was concerned by reports of forced labour in the Chinese province of Xinjiang – something China has refuted.
China is one of H&M’s largest markets, with more than 500 stores across the country, though has seen sales in the region slump as Chinese consumers boycott the business for its views.
According to Reuters, the business saw its products wiped from Alibaba-owned Tmall, its app was deleted from local app stores, and, potentially as a result, saw a 28 per cent year-on-year drop in sales in China between March and May.
H&M hasn’t commented on the latest fine, but has previously said the situation in China is “complex”.