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HK protest post leads Nike to stop sales of UnderCover-designed products

Nike has removed several of its products from sale in China, after online comments from a designer caused outrage on social media.

The Financial Times reported that Nike was now prohibiting the sale of items that had been designed in partnership with UnderCover. This followed reactions to a post made earlier this month on the Japanese streetwear’s Instagram account that voiced support for the ongoing protest actions occurring in Hong Kong.

CNBC and CNN both report that they received comment from a Nike spokesperson saying: “Based on feedback from Chinese consumers, we have withdrawn from China a small number of products that were designed by a collaborator.”

Though access to Instagram is not officially permitted in China, online reactions to UnderCover’s post by users on Chinese social platforms like Weibo had been brutal. Alongside a wave of angry comments, owners have been recording and sharing the destruction, defacement, or disposal of their shoes from the Undercover x Nike Daybreak design run.

The post in question has since been hastily removed, with UnderCover releasing an official statement that it was a mistake that reflected the opinion of but one individual at the company. 

However, this being the internet in 2019, screengrabs continue to be circulated and Chinese retailers such as YY.com have said they will also stop selling their stock of Undercover-designed items.

Protests continue in Hong Kong regarding the introduction of a new bill that would allow the extradition of criminal suspects to the Chinese mainland. A bill that many have questioned the judgement of instituting due to its potential effects to the existing “one country, two systems” policy.

Marketing has reached out to both Nike China and UnderCover lead designer Jun Takahashi for comment.

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