Since the incident in April, when the Olympic torch was extinguished by Pro-Tibet protestors in Paris, Chinese consumers have responded with boycotts of popular French brands like Carrefour and Dior. Adding to the anti-French sentiment have been threats by Nicolas Sarkozy of boycotting the opening ceremony of the Olympic games in August as well as the possibility of Sarkozy meeting with the Dalai Lama during a conference on Buddhism in France.

The WSJ recently reported that Sarkozy will attend the Beijing Olympics’ opening ceremony in August, but what about all of the damage that has already been done? In June, the French Ambassador to China announced that tourism from Beijing to Paris had fallen 70 percent following the April incident, which is alarming considering France was the most popular European holiday destination for Chinese tourists in 2007. All of these events point to an even greater question. What will France and the brands associated with the country mean to Chinese consumers once the Beijing Olympics are over?

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