A grassroots organization in Taiwan is helping democracy-conscious consumers put their money where their values lie.
The big picture: Boycotts by Chinese nationalists target companies viewed as having crossed Chinese Communist Party red lines — including supporting Taiwan's effort to be recognized as a sovereign state. One group in Taiwan hopes to galvanize consumers in democratic countries to push back.
Catch up quick: In 2019, Chinese internet users called for a boycott of some Taiwanese milk tea shops operating in China, after one franchise in Hong Kong put up a sign supporting the Hong Kong pro-democracy protests.
Details: Snowball, a nonprofit organization co-founded in February 2021 by Taiwan-based Americans Colin Hodge and Nadav Mills and run by volunteers from Taiwan and elsewhere, compiles ratings of milk tea shops and retail chains in Asia based on their positions on Hong Kong, Taiwan and other issues related to political values and human rights.
What they're saying: "As consumers and businesses, we can continue to increase our influence on companies, industries and governments by steering our financial support to those who align with our values of improving human rights and freedoms," Hodge said.
Context: Russia's invasion of Ukraine galvanized consumers around the world to avoid organizations with ties to Moscow and instead shop at stores that openly support Ukraine.
Go deeper: Asian "Milk Tea Alliance" spills over to Hong Kong protests

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