Nike sold less in China after boycott

Whats the impact of Chinas call to boycott by sports fashion brand Nike last March? The quarterly figures of the US company (March, April and May) give an insight.

Nikes turnover doubled globally compared to the same period last year, when corona went very bad. In greater China, where Nike also grows Hong Kong and Taiwan, sales grew by only 17 percent.

This is striking because the sports brand normally sells much more than average in China. The region is the main growth market for the company, and accounted for roughly one-fifth of Nike sales last year.

New products postponed

Last March, Chinese people were called on social media to stop buying Western clothing from brands like H&M, Adidas and Nike. That call came a few days after the EU and the US announced sanctions against China because it violates the human rights of the Uygur, a Muslim minority in Xinjiang Province.

Nike top man John Donahoe explained the relatively lower revenue growth in explanation of the figures by โ€œmarket dynamicsโ€ in China. The companys financial top man Matt Friend adds: โ€œAfter a strong month in March, our trade in China was hit in April. We then revised our operations, including by suspending the launch of new products.โ€

Less Sold

He indirectly says that sales in the region dropped even after the call for boycotts, without mentioning that call: sales โ€œimprovedโ€ to a shrinkage of less than 10 percent in May after the changes in business operations. By now, Nikes sales would be back on the old level.

Friend emphasizes the long history of the US company in the region. โ€œBuilding on our 40 years of history in the area, we continue to invest and serve consumers.โ€