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After a month-long boycott, the Royal Thai Army (RTA) has struck a truce, allowing military personnel to resume using the online shopping app ‘LAZADA’ and permitting the delivery of Lazada purchases at military facilities. 

On 20 June, Col Sirichan Ngathong, an RTA Deputy Spokesperson, announced to the media that Gen Narongpan Jitkaewtae, the RTA Commander, decided to end the ban after discussing the issue at an RTA unit commander meeting.

According to Narongpan, the decision was made because the ads with improper content were now under investigation and Thailand is currently undergoing an economic reopening.

How LAZADA made an enemy out of royalists, the Thai military and royal shops

The RTA ban began in May 2022 after online influencers Thidaporn Chaokuwiang, Aniwat Prathumthin, and Kittikhun Thamakitirat produced controversial LAZADA promotions, which appeared to be making fun of people with disabilities and members of the royal family.  On 15 June, the three were charged with royal defamation.

In the RTA boycott effort, a ‘most urgent’ order was issued on 9 May to all RTA units, banning personnel and military-related businesses from using Lazada. Commanders were to be held accountable for any violations.

The order stated that the ban was in response to the improper content of the company’s campaign that affected Thai hearts and undermined humanity. It was reportedly issued the day after RTA Commander-in-Chief Gen Narongpan Jitkaewthae ordered personnel not to allow Lazada deliveries at RTA facilities.

Royal Thai Navy and Royal Thai Air Force did not participate in the ban but publicly condemned LAZADA for its uncreative ads. 

Other than military units, a number of government and royal project enterprises like the  Wansook Shop, Doi Tung, Doikham, and Royal Chitralada Project also announced the temporary end of links between their shops and Lazada.

As of 21 June, store web pages had yet to restore the LAZADA logo for online purchases.

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