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Vitasoy shares plummet after Chinese call for online boycott by Reuters

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A police officer takes photographs at the site where a man allegedly stabbed a police officer in Causeway Bay, on the 24th anniversary of the former British colony’s return to Chinese rule and on the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party.

HONG KONG (Reuters) – Vitasoy shares took their biggest drop on Monday after a worker sent a memo offering condolences to the family of a colleague who stabbed a Hong Kong police officer, prompting calls online. in China to boycott the company.

In a statement on Chinese social media platform Weibo (NASDAQ 🙂 on Saturday, Vitasoy said that a staff member had circulated a memo that he described as “extremely inappropriate” without authorization, and that the company reserved the right to take action. legal.

Vitasoy shares fell 14.6% to HK $ 25.1, levels not seen since April 2020. It was the biggest single-day drop since trading in 1994.

The Hong Kong market in general was flat.

The staff member’s memo offered condolences to the family of a 50-year-old Vitasoy worker who stabbed a 28-year-old police officer and then committed suicide on Thursday, the anniversary of the former British colony’s return to Chinese rule.

Police and security officials described the stabbing as a terrorist attack by a lone wolf, saying a computer seized from his home showed he had been “radicalized.” The police did not provide further details about his alleged radicalization.

The officer’s condition has improved from critical to serious.

The Vitasoy worker’s memo sparked a flood of online calls for a boycott of the company, which derives two-thirds of its revenue from mainland China.

Mainland Chinese actor Gong Jun, who had previously endorsed a lemon-flavored drink Vitasoy, announced late Friday that he would end business cooperation with the company, said Global Times, a tabloid published by the official People’s newspaper. Daily of the Chinese Communist Party in power.

His announcement followed that of another mainland Chinese actor, Ren Jialun, who said he would also stop cooperating with Vitasoy, the newspaper added.

Hong Kong authorities warned on Sunday that advocating for people to cry over the attacker was no different from “supporting terrorism” and criticized parents who brought their children to mourn him.

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