Vitasoy Plunges Amid Boycott Calls After Hong Kong Cop Stabbing
(Bloomberg) -- Vitasoy International Holdings Ltd. shares tumbled the most since 2008 amid online calls for a consumer boycott in China, following a stabbing attack on a Hong Kong policeman last week that local media said was carried out by a company employee.
The soy-milk producer saw its shares tumble as much as 15%. The topic “Get out of Mainland, Vitasoy” had 120 million readers by Monday, according to the Weibo social media platform, after an internal memo at Vitasoy extended condolences to the attacker’s family.
Hong Kong’s National Security Department, which investigates offenses that endanger national security, is now probing the July 1 incident that occurred on a busy street in one of the city’s most popular shopping districts. The case has put a spotlight on the growing tensions between local residents and the police, which has been criticized for employing excessive force in pro-democracy protests that roiled the city before the pandemic.
The national security police cautioned citizens from mourning the attacker’s death, calling the incident a domestic terrorist attack on the 24th anniversary of the former British colony’s return to Chinese rule.
The soy-milk producer pledged to support the investigation. It also said on a Weibo post on Saturday that the internal memo was sent without its approval. Vitasoy did not immediately respond to a Bloomberg request for comment Monday.
The stabbing took place in the city’s busy Causeway Bay shopping district. The unnamed 50-year-old man used a knife to wound a male police officer from behind before turning it on himself, an attack caught on video. He was later pronounced dead, while the police officer was hospitalized.
The company was established in 1940 in Hong Kong. Two thirds of its revenue was generated from the mainland last year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The company operates production facilities in Foshan and Wuhan, according to company website.
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