Nike CEO John Donahoe, who has been very outspoken about progressive activism in the United States, says that he feels the company is making the right move by being quiet about human rights abuse in China because he says that China is a very important market for the company. When CNBC host Sara Eisen asked Donahoe if the company had to abandon its values to continue doing business in China, Donahoe replied not at all because Nike is a company that connects with consumers in countries around the world.
Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act
The latest questions occurred as the United States House of Representatives begins to consider the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act, which would prohibit the import of a broad range of categories made with forced labor in the Uyghur region of China. If the bill passes the house, then it will be sent to President Biden for his signature.
What Is the Problem?
According to Han Lianchao, Vice President of Citizen Power Initiatives for China, between 500,000 and 800,000 people are housed in 70 prisons in China’s Xinjian region are forced to work against their will. Furthermore, it is suspected that up to 1 million people in Xinjiang re-education camps may also be working in China’s textile industry against their will.
This is not the first time that Donahoe has had to answer questions about his company’s position in China. The company has previously released a statement that says it refuses to do business with any vendor that uses forced labor.
Nike is among the list of companies urging the United States House of Representatives to water down the penalties against companies doing business in China. Apple and Coca-Cola have also urged that the bill be rewritten.