Nike to Fully Exit Russia, No Plans to Shut Down Chinese Slave Labor Plants

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Nike has decided to fully exit Russia three months after suspending operations in the country due to its invasion of Ukraine, the sportswear giant announced Thursday.

The company has no announced plans to exit China due to that country’s gross human rights abuses and organized use of slave labor in making Nike products.

Nike initially suspended operations in Russia on March 3, a week after Vladimir Putin ordered Russian forces to invade Ukraine in an attempt to take over the neighboring nation. However, Nike seems to have been motivated to leave the country entirely by the prospect of new criminal laws imposed by the Russian government on foreign companies who protested against Moscow’s war.

People walk near the entrance to Nike store, May 25, 2022 in Moscow, Russia. Nike Inc. With its 116 Russian stores and British retailer Marks and...

Nike store in Moscow, Russia (Konstantin Zavarzhin/Getty Images)

Those penalties, reportedly, would include the seizure of assets.

“NIKE has made the decision to leave the Russian marketplace. Our priority is to ensure we are fully supporting our employees while we responsibly scale down our operations over the coming months,” Nike said in the statement.

Companies such as McDonald’s and Google have already announced plans to leave.

Still, anyone seeking to praise Nike for removing themselves from Russia over the war should think again. According to Yahoo, Nike receives less than one percent of its revenues from the Russian and Ukrainian markets, combined. Nike has yet to pull itself out of a market vital to its business in the name of human rights.

For example, in 2019, Nike’s Greater China revenues accounted for $1.68 billion, or 22% of the company’s total revenues. In addition, China produces 25% of Nike’s global footwear and apparel.

And, of course, Nike has been listed among 83 international businesses and brands that utilize Chinese Muslim slave labor.


(Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)

This is to say nothing of China’s treatment of gays and other minorities, which Nike certainly claims to care about when they’re advocating for social justice in America and the West.


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