Cantopop singer Denise Ho decided to push through with a concert canceled by her sponsor Lancome after comments by the Chinese media slammed the cosmetics giant for their association with the singer, who is a well-known, pro-democratic figure.
According to The Wall Street Journal, hundreds of people attended Denise's free concert on Sunday. The concert was held at the same time that her supposed appearance for Lancome should have taken place.
The French luxury cosmetics house canceled the concert headlined by Denise after the Chinese state media questioned the company's association with the singer. The company also temporarily closed its stores in Hong Kong on June 8, as people started to rally outside and protest the decision to cancel the event, the Straits Times reported.
Lancome attempted to defend their action, taking to their Facebook account to explain that the cancellation was for "possible safety reasons."
Denise's free concert was reportedly peaceful and there were no protests. The event did not even require police officers. During the concert, Denise told her fans that people of Hong Kong and mainland China "have to fight for the basic human rights, which are freedom of speech and freedom of thought."
"The pressure is growing, and the fear is growing," she added. "We need to face the problem directly because people are choosing to stay silent."
As a result of Lancome's decision to cancel Denise's concert, a petition has been set up on the website change.org by Beatrice Desgranges. The petition is calling on people to boycott Lancome products. As of this writing, the petition has received 85,000 signatures.
L'Oreal, the parent company of Lancome, is yet to make an official announcement on the matter.