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Nike shoes sell out in China despite calls for boycott over Xinjiang cotton

Nationalist backlash seeming to have limited impact on American sportswear giant

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A woman wearing a mask passes by a Nike store in Beijing on Thursday, March 25, 2021. 

A woman wearing a mask passes by a Nike store in Beijing on Thursday, March 25, 2021.  (AP photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A range of Nike products subject to special offers flew off the shelves on Chinese e-commerce platforms last week despite a boycott campaign in that country against the brand over cotton from Xinjiang.

A limited number of Air Jordan 4 sneakers immediately went out of stock on Tmall.com on Thursday (March 25), and Nike Dunk Low shoes sold out on Jingdong (JD.com) as soon as they became available in a hot deal on Friday (March 26), reported HK01.

The phenomenon has prompted derision on the internet toward Chinese netizens, many of whom have called for a boycott against brands rejecting cotton from Xinjiang over forced labor claims involving Uyghur workers. Some people have criticized the purchases as being hypocritical, while others have called them a tactic to keep away competitors interested in snatching up the limited-edition items.

H&M, Nike, Adidas, and Burberry are among the companies hit by the nationalism-driven movement. While H&M has been dealt a blow, including seeing its stores eliminated from top Chinese ride-hailing app Didi Chuxing, Nike's losses appear to be limited.

Celebrities have balked at cutting ties with the American sportswear giant, and the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) and Chinese Football Association (CFA) remain silent on the issue. Nike has been the biggest subsidizer of the CFA, entering into a 10-year contract with the CFA Super League worth 3 billion renminbi (US$458 million) in subsidized products in 2018. Nike's significant clout in China is said to have shielded it from the backlash, wrote CNA.


Updated : 2021-05-14 08:12 GMT+08:00