11 July 2024

A number of retail outlets selling products from Royally-sponsored projects in Thailand have stopped taking orders from customers through the Lazada online shopping platform. Though there was no reason given in any of their announcements, the changes have happened following #banLazada trending on Thai social media, in response to a promotional video, uploaded to TikTok, which has been deemed inappropriate and, by some, to offend the royal family and disabled people.

A Facebook post by the “Doi Tung Club” on Friday says their stores under the “Mae Fah Luang Foundation” are revising their online sale platforms, but customers can still make online purchases of their products via its website and several other online outlets.

No reason was given for the revision of the online shopping channels, though Lazada was not mentioned among the platforms that are still accepted by “Doi Tung” outlets.

Stores selling “Patpat” products, from the Chaipattana Foundation, also announced the suspension of order acceptance through Lazada and apologised to their customers for the inconvenience.

The Royal Chitralada Projects and the Corrections Department also announced the shutdown of their links with Lazada. In a Facebook post on Saturday from “Wansook” stores, operated by the Corrections Department, which sell products produced by inmates, the department said it has withdrawn from the Lazada platform for “adjustments”, but customers can still order online via Facebook or the Line app.

Meanwhile, “mr.big” pillows and “Zolbabyworld”, which sells products for child development and mothers, have also stopped accepting orders via Lazada, but other platforms are acceptable.

No reason was given for this boycott of Lazada, other than a claim that they were revising their online sale channels, but it is believed that it is connected with calls from royalist groups to boycott the international giant.

Lazada and the company involved in the production of the controversial video have offered a public apology for their failure of oversight, but some royalists and pro-monarchists have demanded accountability from Lazada and that action be taken against the alleged offenders.

The video, posted on TikTok, shows two online influencers, Aniwat Prathumthin and Thidaporn Chaokuwiang, promoting the Lazada platform for clothes shopping. Thidaporn is seen in the clip dressed in a traditional Thai costume and sitting in a wheelchair. Aniwat is seen accusing Thidaporn, who plays the mother of a noble background, of stealing her clothes.

The wheelchair and the reference to Thidaporn’s noble ancestry were deemed, by some, to indirectly reference a member of the Thai royal family who is currently in a wheelchair.

A complaint was filed yesterday (Saturday) against Aniwat, with the Technology Crime Suppression Division, by political activist Srisuwan Janya.