On May 31, the windows of the Nike flagship store on Michigan Avenue on Chicago’s “Miracle Mile” were smashed. Brazen thieves, in broad daylight, stole the Nike merchandise like it was their right. Nike
Nike store on Michigan Ave smashed and completely looted pic.twitter.com/IRZc4FuDBO
— Ben Pope (@BenPopeCST) May 31, 2020
A few days later, BLM rioters destroyed another NIKE flagship store—this time in NYC.
VIDEO: #GeorgeFloyd rioters looting @Nike store on Fifth Avenue, New York City. pic.twitter.com/HMKT1aiogD #AntifaTerrorists #GeorgeFloydRiots #NYC #DeBlasio #BeijingBiden 🇨🇳 #riots #GeorgeSoros #NewYorkRiots
— Sam Pye (@freddie1999) June 2, 2020
Nike remained silent over the criminal activity plaguing their stores in the name of “justice for George.” Instead of condemning the actions of the violent rioters, the over-priced sneaker industry looked the other way.
Nike, who has been on the front lines of “woke” corporations, was destroyed on social media for a recent statement about refusing to buy cotton from a region in Communist China where persecuted Uyghur Muslims are being used in forced labor camps to produce cotton.
“We are concerned about reports of forced labor in, and connected to, the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR)” the Nike statement read.
On March 24, Chinese social media went after Nike for a statement the woke company made, where they said they were “concerned” about reports of forced labor in Xinjiang and that it does not use cotton from the region.
Reuters reported about the backlash- A popular Chinese actor Wang Yibo, terminated his contract as a representative for Nike in response to social media criticism over the company’s Xinjiang statement, his agency said on Weibo on Thursday.
It was unclear when Nike had put out the statement, which did not have a date on it. Nike did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Hu Xijin, editor-in-chief of the state-run Global Times urged Western companies on Wednesday to be “highly cautious” and not to “suppress China’s Xinjiang” in a social media post.
“To do so would “undoubtedly arouse the anger of the Chinese public,” he added. He did not single out any companies.
Today, when asked about competition from Chinese brands, Nike’s Chief executive John Donahoe delivered a stunning response: “Nike is a brand that is of China and for China.”
According to the BBC – Mr. Donahoe was speaking during a call with Wall Street analysts about Nike’s latest earnings report.
The comments come after the sportswear giant was recently hit by a backlash over statements about Xinjiang.
Mr. Donahoe made the comments during a discussion on Nike’s fourth-quarter earnings, which showed revenues had doubled to a better-than-expected $12.3bn (£8.8bn) for the three months to the end of March.
That helped it bounce back to a $1.5bn profit, from a $790m loss during the depths of the pandemic a year earlier.
The figures also showed that revenue in China rose to more than $1.9bn, but missed Wall Street expectations of $2.2bn.
Mr. Donahoe said he remained confident that China would continue to be a fast-growing market for the company due to its many years of investment there.
“We’ve always taken a long-term view. We’ve been in China for over 40 years,” he said.
“Phil [Knight] invested significant time and energy in China in the early days and today we’re the largest sports brand there,” he said in reference to Nike’s co-founder and former chief executive who first saw the potential for growth in the country.
This isn’t the first time an American company or organization has kowtowed to Communist China…
On Oct. 10, 2019, 100 Percent Fed Up reported about how Houston Rockets merchandise disappeared from several Nike stores in Chinese cities after the controversy about a tweet from the general manager supporting the Hong Kong protests that said: “Fight for Freedom. Stand with Hong Kong.”
This highlights a conflict with doing business in China…free speech doesn’t exist in China so the Chinese told the Rockets to “correct the error.”
According to CNBC:
The general manager deleted his tweet and tweeted out an apology:
I have always appreciated the significant support our Chinese fans and sponsors have provided and I would hope that those who are upset will know that offending or misunderstanding them was not my intention. I have had a lot of opportunity since that tweet to hear and consider other perspectives.”
“I did not intend my tweet to cause any offense to Rockets fans and friends of mine in China.”
Reuters interviewed managers at the Beijing and Shanghai Nike stores that a memo from management called for all Houston Rockets merchandise to be removed.
Even though the Rockets general manager backed down and apologized for his tweet, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said the league backed the right of the general manager to exercise his free speech.
With NBA business in China worth more than $4 billion, this is important for both the NBA and Nike who also sees China as its top source of revenue growth.
Three Nike stores in Shenzhen kept Rockets and NBA merchandise off their shelves.
Citizens of Hong Kong have been protesting about the increasing influence from China.
At what point do the businesses like Nike and the NBA sacrifice everything and tell China to shove it?