From Beijing’s spat with the Philippines over the South China Sea, add a surprise backlash to the challenges facing KFC and Apple in China.
Photographs circulated online show young Chinese wearing scarves with patriotic mottos smashing Apple iPhones in protest.
State media have fanned public rage with a torrent of criticism of last week’s ruling by an U.N. tribunal, which found no legal foundation for Beijing’s claim to most of the South China Sea.
“The Chinese public, as optimistic and positive as they are, are deeply patriotic and nationalistic, especially people who are younger,” said James Roy of the research firm China Market Research Group. KFC and Apple “are just very closely associated with the United States, and you are seeing people picking the closest symbol they can think of to demonstrate against.”