‘Nike is a brand that is of China and for China’: Chief exec John Donahoe months after backlash

26 June, 2021 | Priyanka Sharma

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China continues to be a fast-growing market for Nike. Months after Chinese shoppers' backlash against the brand for its concern over Uyghur forced labour in Xinjiang, Nike’s Chief executive John Do...

Nike has come out in its defence of its business in China after facing immense backlash over its statements on Xinjiang. Even as China faces the ire of global community over its Covid-19 origin cover up, Nike’s Chief executive John Donahoe has said that ‘Nike is a brand that is of China and for China’. 

Expressing confidence on the brand’s ties with China, Mr Donahoe said that Nike’s Co-Founder and Former Chief Executive Phil Knight invested significant time and energy in China in the early days and today it is the largest sport brand there. He added that they have been in China for over 40 years and it continues to be a fast-growing market for the company. 

Mr Donahoe’s comments came during his call with Wall street analysts on Nike’s fourth quarter earnings. With revenues doubling to a $12.3 bn, much better than expected, Nike was able to bounce back to profit. The projections also showed Nike’s revenue growth in China.  

Earlier in March, Nike had expressed its concerns on the alleged use of Uyghur forced labour in cotton production. This led to a backlash by Chinese shoppers against several western brands, including Nike.