Gucci Withdraws Warning to Hong Kong Funeral Shops

Joss paper is used to create luxury brands, clothing, vehicles, cash and other items to be burnt as part of funerary rites common in East Asia. Photo: David Bote Estrada / Flickr

HONG KONG — Gucci and its parent company have apologized after drawing heavy criticism for warning some Hong Kong shops not to sell paper offerings for the deceased that resembled the fashion brand's luxury products.

The brand and its Paris-based owner, Kering, also said in a statement Friday that they regretted any misunderstanding from the letters, which were sent to six shops last month.

It added that "Kering and Gucci would like to reiterate their utmost respect with regards to the funeral context."

In Hong Kong and some other parts of Asia, people burn paper offerings at funerals and during grave-sweeping festivals for deceased relatives to "use" in the afterlife.

Specialty shops offer a diverse array of paper offerings, including "hell money," mansions, iPhones, cars, cigarettes and designer handbags.