Nike defends China business after boycott

The chief executive of Nike has defended its business in China following a consumer boycott in the country.

According to the BBC, Nike’s boss John Donahoe said that “Nike is a brand that is of China and for China" when responding to a question about competition from Chinese brands on a call with Wall Street analysts.

The sportswear brand recently faced backlash over statements made about the Xinjiang region of China, which is allegedly using Uyghur forced labour in cotton production.

Last week the company reported revenue growth of 96 per cent to $12.3 billion in the final quarter of 2020.

Revenue in China increased to over $1.9 billion, but reportedly missed expectations by Wall Street of $2.2 billion.

The Nike chief exec told analysts that he is still confident that China will be a fast-growing market for the business.

“We've been in China for over 40 years," said Donahoe on the call.

Referencing Nike’s former CEO he added: "Phil [Knight] invested significant time and energy in China in the early days and today we're the largest sport brand there."

A number of brands, including H&M and Nike, faced boycotts from Chinese consumers after the companies expressed concerns over alleged forced labour in Xinjiang.

In March, the UK, EU, US and Canada imposed sanctions on Chinese officials regarding suspected human rights abuses in the region.

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