Chinese nationalist sentiment swept across China in the wake of last week’s international tribunal ruling over the South China Sea, with protests targeting KFC, Apple and Filipino fruit. In Changsha in Hunan province, residents held up a banner outside a KFC restaurant that reads: “Get out of China, KFC and McDonald’s.”Meanwhile, a campaign of smashing iPhones has taken off on social media, in protest against U.S. tech giant Apple.
However the Chinese state-run People’s Daily newspaper last Wednesday labeled such behaviour as “irrational and disruptive.” On July 12, the Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Hague ruled overwhelmingly in favor of the Philippines, saying there was no legal basis for China’s claim to a large part of the South China Sea. China strongly rejected the decision.
Anti-Philippines sentiment can also be felt on China’s largest online shopping website Taobao, with sellers offering locally grown dried mango instead of fruit grown in the Philippines.
Similar protest pattern occurred in 2012 following a sea territorial dispute with Japan nearby the uninhabited islands of East China Sea.