Nike has apparently now went completely over to the dark side, what with one Nike executive officer making a strong defense of their business prospects in China. These comments are sure to spark controversy regarding just where the loyalties of this apparel company truly lie.
“Nike is a brand that is for China and is of China as well,” Nike CEO John Donahue insisted during an earnings call a couple of week ago, according to BBC news. He made these comments despite the fact that the founder of Nike was well-known for crafting his shoes from a waffle iron in Eugene, Oregon in the early days of the company.
Evidently, these comments came on the heels of a discussion regarding the fourth-quarter earnings of the company. Nike’s earnings in China fell short of Wall Street expectations, so Donahue is going all the way toward the dark side and getting ready to completely kiss the Chinese ring. Oh, brother.
This dip in Nike’s Chinese sales seems to be coming on the heels of a consumer boycott in the country over some of Nike’s comments regarding their forced labor practices in Xinjiang, China.
The sportswear giant said in a statement that it was “concerned about the reports of forced labor in, and connected to, the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (UAR)” and they made a point that they were not going to “source products from the XUAR and they have confirmed this with contract suppliers, ensuring they are not using textiles or spinning yarn from this region.”
Last year, Nike and several other U.S. companies came under fire in the West because they allegedly used forced labor linked to the Muslim Uyghur slave trade in the Chinese region of Xinjiang, an area where one-fifth of the world’s cotton is made.
The Chinese Communist Party believes that the Western companies’ decision to stop using cotton from the region was done intentionally as a way to harm their country’s economy.
However, even with the dip in business with the Chinese, Nike CEO Donahue insisted that the company was going to continue to double down on their support of outsized efforts over there.
“We continue to take a long-term view, and that is one of the main reasons why we have been in China for over four decades now,” Donahue said.
“We are the biggest sport brand there, and the biggest asset we have there is the consumer equity. That is why consumers all over the world feel a strong, deep connection to Nike, Converse, and Jordan brands in China. This is for real.”
Well, good for them, but this can easily be seen as yet another example of the company simply bending their knees to China in a shame pursuit of more profits.
“Nike will not be able to serve both America and China. They have chosen their master, and it is not us,” conservative sports commentator and BlazeTV host Jason Whitlock wrote in regards to the matter.
“China is a racist, authoritarian, communist-run country. America is (or at least was) a democratic republic pursuing fairness and freedom. You can’t be ‘of China and for China’ and serve America.”
True. Especially considering the fact that they used to make their shoes from a waffle iron and now they just export it to China!