Nike CEO Says Company Ignores China’s Human Rights Abuses Because It’s ‘A Very Important Market for Us’


Nike CEO John Donahoe appeared to say Thursday that he does not comment on China’s alleged human rights abuses because China is “a very important market for us.”

“We think sport is a global phenomenon, an important phenomenon. And so we participate in sport all over the world, including China. China is a very important market for us,” Donahoe told CNBC after being asked why Nike hasn’t 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.”

“We take a very long-term view in China. We’re continuing to invest in China and we will continue to invest in China while also operating a very responsible global supply chain.”

Donahoe defended the company’s role in China in June, calling it a “brand of China,” according to Fox News.

“We are the largest sports brand there, and we are a brand of China and for China,” he said in an earnings call.

“And the biggest asset we have in China is the consumer equity. Consumers feel a strong, deep connection to the Nike, Jordan and Converse brands in China. And it’s real.”

He buckled down on his comments Thursday, saying that consumers all around the world feel that Nike is a “brand of their market for them.”

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