The Royal Thai Army has lifted a boycott of e-commerce platform Lazada.
The company, owned by the Alibaba Group, was banned from delivering parcels to military premises all over the country for 42 days because of an offensive advert which insulted the Thai Royal Family, and disabled people.
Last month Lazada goods were banned from entering Royal Thai Army premises because its TikTok adverts were considered offensive to disabled people, and the Thai Royal Family. As a consequence, the Thai military warned soldiers of penalties if they ordered goods from Lazada.
The two so-called offensive videos were launched on the TikTok account of a 23 year old influencer named Aniwat “Nara” Prathumthin. The first video features the 2 influencers in a mother-daughter scenario. Nara plays the daughter role while another influencer, 28 year old Thidaporn “Noo Rat” Chaokuwiang, took the disabled mother role in a wheelchair.
The first video caused outrage on social media with netizens and royalists criticising the influencers for insulting disabled people and mocking a member of the royal Thai family who uses a wheelchair.
The second video features Nara and a third influencer, 34 year old Kittikhun “Momdew Diary” Thamkittirat. In this sketch, Nara and Momdew Diary advertise a skincare product and recommend viewers to buy it via the Lazada application. In this video, Momdew Diary was condemned by royalists and netizens because her costume, hairstyle, and makeup was similar to Queen Sirikit. They believed she was mocking the Thai queen.
These 3 influencers were arrested and charged with the 112 lèse majesté law and Computer Crime Acts because they insulted the monarchy. The 3 influencers acknowledged the charges at the Central Investigation Bureau on June 16 and were released on bail.
The Commander-in-Chief of the Royal Thai Army, Narongphan Jitkaewthae, yesterday informed the media that the Royal Thai Army had withdrawn the boycott of Lazada because the advert had been brought to the process of judgment already.
Narongphan added that the Royal Thai Army would lift the ban on Lazada from July 1 as a good will gesture and to boost the nation’s economy.
The Royal Thai Navy and Airforce also backed the Lazada boycott, and officers and their families all avoided using their e-commerce platform. These 2 military branches have yet to make an announcement on whether they will lift the ban on Lazada yet.