Recently, a product sold by a brand is creating controversy among Chinese netizens.
Lakai Korea advertised hanbok in Times Square in New York in opposition to China’s Northeast Project. In addition, they were criticized by China for posting a satire targeting China’s Northeast Project on April Fool’s Day. The brand announced they would suspend sales indefinitely in Asia’s largest market, China, as well, which is very uncommon in this industry. Currently, in a patriotic move that is unbelievable for such a small company, they are filing an international lawsuit in New York State with Chinese netizens who distort Korea’s history.
A Chinese site suddenly appeared at the address of the official website of Lakai Korea. As it became known that the site was selling special products only in China, many people who supported the brand in Korea were shocked. When Chinese netizens found out about this, they thought that the company could not give up on the largest Chinese market, but Chinese people who visited the site were outraged.
The products sold on the Chinese site were a package of two mugs and a desk calendar. The 2 types of mugs were a Pungmulnori mug and a signature mug as a set. Here, hanbok, kimchi, and bibimbap, which were claimed to be the culture of China, were drawn. The circle with the red and blue colors in the background is called the ‘Taegeuk pattern’ which is the same pattern as the Korean flag, the soul of Korea. This clearly states they are Korea’s.
In addition, there is a desk calendar posted under the name of ‘historical calendar’. It has a detailed page by Lakai Korea on the back of each month that explains why hanbok, kimchi, the poet Yun Dong-ju, and Chuseok, etc. that the Chinese claim is theirs are actually Korea’s.
Chuseok (Thanksgiving Day), one of the biggest holidays in China and Korea, is called Jungchujeol in China and Chuseok in Korea. For the upcoming Chuseok, some Chinese netizens argue that Korean Chuseok was copied from China’s Jungchujeol. Regarding this, this calendar states that Korean and Chinese holidays have had different concepts from the beginning, and that Chuseok in Korea has nothing to do with Jungchujeol in China.
The Chinese were outraged when it was revealed that everything they claimed to be Chinese culture was not based on historical Korean evidence. This was done by Lakai Korea, the brand that had an advertisement for Hanbok in Times Square in New York and is currently conducting international litigation. This seems to have enraged the Chinese netizens even more.
The Northeast Project, whose goal is to absorb the history of China’s neighboring countries, has already been active for several years. A small Korean fashion brand is actively blocking its cultural distortion which is a core a part of the Northeast Project.
This action by Lakai Korea is getting a lot of attention from both Korea and China, as well as from overseas countries. The responses are ‘It is a rare brand that tries to protect its history.’ ‘It’s envious that such a company exists in Korea.’
It is quite a radical move for a company to abandon the Chinese market, the world’s largest. Despite the fact that it has turned its back on China, a huge market, this company is growing, receiving praise from Korea and foreign countries. Now is the time to pay attention to companies such as Lakai Korea that are working hard for their country.