Nike cancels limited-edition shoe sale in China

Japanese designer supported Hong Kong protests

Chinese retailers halted sales of the trainers designed by Undercover. Photograph: Reuters

Chinese retailers halted sales of the trainers designed by Undercover. Photograph: Reuters

 

Nike has cancelled the sale of a line of limited-edition sports shoes in China after the sportswear maker’s Japanese designer supported recent Hong Kong protests, highlighting the political risks for western businesses operating in the country. 

Chinese retailers halted sales of the trainers designed by Undercover, the studio of Japanese designer Jun Takahashi, after it posted a picture of protesters with the slogan “no extradition to China” — in reference to Hong Kong’s proposed extradition bill — on its Instagram account this month. 

Instagram users

The post provoked a backlash from Chinese Instagram users, who use VPN software to access the platform as it is blocked on the mainland. Undercover deleted the post, which it said was an “individual opinion” posted by mistake.

YYSports, a Chinese retailer owned by Hong Kong-listed Pou Sheng International, Nike’s strategic partner in China, said in a social media post that it had received an “urgent notice” from the US sportswear maker resulting in the cancellation of the shoe’s release on June 14th. – Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2019