Dolce&Gabbana goods disappeared Thursday from Chinese e-commerce sites as the fallout grew over remarks insulting to China that were apparently made by two of its Instagram accounts. The company has blamed hackers.
Searches for Dolce&Gabbana turned up no items on major online retailers such as Alibaba's Tmall and JD.com. Both companies didn't respond to requests for comment.
A duty-free shop at the Haikou Meilan airport on China's Hainan island posted a photo of empty shelves on its social media account, saying that it had pulled all Dolce&Gabbana products. It wrote in another post that "Even if our power is small, we have to show our stance. We are proud of being Chinese."
The moves by retailers came one day after several screenshots were circulated online showing co-founder Stefano Gabbana referring to China with crude terms and emoji as he defended promotional videos that had sparked controversy earlier.
The comments were made in a private message exchange with another Instagram user. Separately, the Dolce&Gabbana account used offensive language in another exchange.
The Italian luxury fashion house apologized and said both accounts had been hacked. "We have nothing but respect for China and the people of China," it wrote.
The apology was too late to save a major extravaganza in Shanghai that Dolce&Gabbana had billed as one of its biggest shows ever outside of Italy.