John Donahoe, CEO of Nike, during a recent interview, let it be known again that the company will continue to prioritize business with China despite the serious accusations against the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) for human rights violations, claiming that China is a significant market for them and that they will not stop operating there, Breitbart reported.
During an interview on CNBC last Thursday, August 5, co-host Sara Eisen accosted Nike’s CEO with an uncomfortable question, and he kept doing his best to say absolutely nothing about his business dealings with the biggest human rights violator.
“Some are wondering, John, why you have not been more vocal, as a company, around some of the human rights abuses in China, when you have been so out front on societal and social issues here in the U.S.?” asked Eisen.
Donahoe responded evasively by claiming that Nike believes sports is a global and important phenomenon, so they are involved in sports around the world, including China.
“China’s a very important market for us. We have a long-term history in China. … And so, we take a very long-term view in China. We’re continuing to invest in China and we’ll continue to invest in China, while also operating a very responsible global supply chain,” the CEO argued.
The presenter went on to question Donahoe on whether the company is having to “sacrifice its values” to continue doing business in China, about the serious deeds perpetrated by the Chinese regime that the world has begun to learn about, such as the oppression of ethnic minorities, religious minorities, Hong Kong citizens and the recent cover-up of the origin of the CCP virus.
“Not at all, Sara. We connect to consumers in markets all over the world. And so, I can say, go into any country around the world and say, consumers in that market consider Nike a brand of their market, for them,” adding that that is one of the reasons the company has been successful globally.
“We operate very aligned with our values, always have been, always will, including throughout our entire supply chain. And so, this is simply part of the challenges of operating a global brand, in global markets, and we’ve navigated that very well for 50 years, and we will continue to do that,” he concluded.
But the company’s rising business investments in China, in disregard of the CCP’s human rights abuses, continue to bring controversy and raise questions about how far Nike will go to expand its economy there.
In December, a BBC investigation revealed evidence that thousands of Uighurs and other minorities were forced to pick cotton in Xinjiang’s fields, which is used to supply large Western industries.
Regarding this, host John Sexton mentioned on HotAir a video ad Nike made on Twitter, supporting “YouCantStopOurVoice” voting rights activism, which does not happen in China under the communist regime.
He even questioned the fact that his bio currently has the hashtags #BlackLivesMatter and #StopAsianHate highlighted, writing:
“No doubt if CEO Donahoe had been asked about BLM or attacks on Asian people or any number of other hot button issues here in the US, he would have had a lot to say about corporate responsibility and leading by example. But when he’s asked about human rights in China all we get is a mish-mash of anodyne statements about their long history and continued investment.”
He added, “You definitely don’t see any messages like the one above about freedom in Hong Kong or reeducatin camps in Xinjiang.”