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BEIJING – Agents working for the Chinese Government are using technology to troll popular Chinese platforms such as Sina Weibo, WeChat Friend Circles, Baidu Tieba with 60,000 comments per minute – and are likely to have had a huge influence on sentiment around Xinjiang cotton turning sharply against Western brands.

Apparel Insider this week interviewed Mareike Ohlberg of the German Marshall Fund, a public policy think tank. Ohlberg is a global expert on China’s media and digital policies and the Chinese Communist Party’s influence campaigns in Europe.

She told us that much of the backlash against brands which have ditched Xinjiang cotton was highly likely to have come from paid online comments by agents working on behalf of the Chinese Communist party.

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