Canto-pop star Denise Ho Wan-sze has ramped up the pressure on L’Oreal, directly contacting the cosmetic giant’s top official in Hong Kong to demand a “sincere” explanation about its controversial cancellation of her mini-concert. Ho said it would be “extremely disrespectful” to Hongkongers if the company’s local president and managing director Stephen Mosely was to leave the matter “unresolved”. “Hongkongers are so fed up with all the unresolved [controversies] in the city,” she said. “It happened with Chief Executive [Leung Chun-ying], the government, high-ranking officials and the police. Is it now that even businessmen are leaving things unresolved?” L’Oreal has been accused of ditching Ho, an outspoken democracy activist who joined the Occupy protests, for fear of losing business on the mainland. Writing on her Facebook page yesterday, Ho urged public support for an online petition created by retired Paris-based teacher Beatrice Desgranges demanding L’Oreal reconsider the cancellation of the concert. The petition had more than 66,000 signatures by 10.30pm yesterday. Desgranges told the Post she was “proud and glad of Ho’s endorsement”. The decision on Sunday to cancel the concert due to “possible safety reasons” was made after Beijing newspaper Global Times accused Lancome, a L’Oreal brand, of inviting “a Hong Kong independence advocate”. Many mainland internet users threatened to boycott the brand. “Since [Thursday], I have been trying to contact ... Mr Mosely, but I got no response,” Ho wrote. “In the last five days, all that L’Oreal’s event organiser told me was that I would be compensated for the cooperation ... But the problem was not about money.” She took issue with the company citing “safety” as the reason behind its decision. “Why can’t they explain what the safety concern is? ... If they simply ended our cooperation because of the pressure from mainland media, a sense of white terror would spread in society,” she added. A L’Oreal Hong Kong spokeswoman reiterated that the group had nothing to add. League of Social Democrats chairman Avery Ng Man-yuen and more than 10 political groups staged a protest at Lancome’s counter at Times Square on Wednesday. He reiterated yesterday that L’Oreal should apologise by tomorrow or they would consider “escalating” their action. A separate petition endorsed by the groups was supported by more than 4,400 people on Facebook and signed by more than 600. Joseph Ho Shiu-chung, president of the Cosmetic and Perfumery Association of Hong Kong, said there was no winner in the controversy as it would make other companies more cautious in cooperating with artists and pop stars. He said the matter “seriously undermined Hong Kong’s long-standing image as a free and open market” as foreign investors could be discouraged by the city’s “politicised” atmosphere. “International firms are centred on a globalised business model, and when making investment decisions, they would consider [whether] a place is highly politicised,” he said.