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Canada Goose Delays Beijing Store Debut as Protest Calls Mount

Canada Goose Holdings Inc. is delaying the opening of its flagship store in Beijing, as escalating tensions between China and Canada triggered by the arrest of Huawei Technologies Co.’s finance chief threaten its ambitions in the world’s second largest economy.

The Toronto-based maker of premium parkas said on its Weibo account late Friday that it was postponing the store’s debut, scheduled for Saturday in Beijing’s trendy Sanlitun district, “due to construction reasons.” The posting came after Weibo social media users threatened to protest the opening. The company has been targeted for a boycott of its brand on media platforms since Meng Wanzhou’s arrest, given its prominence as a Canadian label.

The company didn’t give a date for when the store would open. Canada Goose representatives didn’t immediately respond to phone calls and emails seeking further comment.

The timing could not be worse for the luxury jacket maker, which just last month launched a splashy entry into greater China with a store in Hong Kong and plans for the Beijing flagship, betting that the country’s growing middle class is ready to spend on its Arctic-ready, $1,000 plus parkas. The company has seen its shares slump 20 percent since Meng’s arrest was made public last week.

The detention of the Huawei executive has ignited an anti-Canadian backlash in China, although other Canadian brands like IMAX Corp. and Tim Hortons Inc. have not faced similar calls for a boycott. It may be that consumers are unaware that these brands are Canadian, whereas there’s no mistaking Canada Goose’s origins.

China’s spy agency has also detained two Canadians in the past week, which some view as retaliation for Meng’s arrests, although China has deflected questions about any links.