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The biggest sneaker company you’ve never heard of is capitalizing on China’s Nike and Adidas boycott

Nike and Adidas are among the global brands now facing a revolt among Chinese consumers for expressing concerns about forced labor in China’s Xinjiang cotton industry. Anta, a Chinese sportswear brand often called “the Nike of China,” is doubling down on buying the controversial cotton and welcoming disaffected Nike and Adidas customers with open arms.

The consumer reckoning facing foreign brands started on March 23, when the government-backed Communist Youth League of China blasted a months-old statement by Swedish retail giant H&M. The statement said the retailer had “deep concerns” about alleged forced labor among China’s Uighur minority population in western Xinjiang, a region that accounts for 85% of China’s cotton production and 20% of global cotton supply.

“Spreading rumors to boycott Xinjiang cotton while trying to make money in China? Wishful thinking!” the Communist Youth League wrote on China’s Twitter-like Weibo platform. Beijing has repeatedly denied allegations of forced labor and other human rights abuses in Xinjiang as “utterly groundless.”



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