Nike CEO John Donahoe considers his sportswear empire to be “a brand that is of China and for China.”
Per the BBC report, “Mr. Donahoe made the comments during a discussion on Nike’s fourth quarter earnings, which showed revenues had doubled to a better-than-expected $12.3bn for the three months to the end of March.”
Based on data from Statista, Nike’s line of footwear netted 4.6 billion in revenue from Greater China in 2020.
Donahoe also informed the analysts, “We’ve always taken a long term view. We’ve been in China for over 40 years. Phil [Knight] invested significant time and energy in China in the early days and today we’re the largest sport brand there.”
Despite the adulation from America’s most influential companies, China sees its obstacles on the global stage. China still egregiously violates human rights laws, moderates media content and regularly relies on dictatorial propaganda.
In the last ten years or so, Nike has rebranded itself into a politically friendly — albeit one-sided — platform for athletes such as Colin Kaepernick and LeBron James. However, its anti-America, pro-China messaging has been soundly rejected by the majority of Americans and those concerned about preserving U.S. principles such as free speech.