The formally harsh Chinese response to Nike’s attempt to play the honey-bee game is not surprising
This is exactly how, clearly and uncompromisingly, Beijing has always reacted to steps affecting its right to personally determine the country’s policy, especially its internal one.
Suffice it to recall how in the fall of 2020 the luxury clothing brand Burberry disappeared from the Chinese retail space literally in a day, immediately after the Better Cotton Initiative holding, which it belongs to, demanded one of two things: either to stop the practice of violating the civil rights of Uyghurs in the XUAR or to stop supplying Xinjiang cotton to the world market, which BCI specifically refuses to use in its products.
In Washington, they didn’t even have time to sneeze when the face of Burberry in China, actress Zhou Dongyu, broke off the advertising contract and literally stopped selling this brand in just a week.
Another question is that no one has drawn the proper conclusions from what happened across the Ocean, and impunity always turns into an escalation of irresponsibility. Nike got into the history of the Uyghurs not because of any special love for them. And in general, the statement by the company’s management was not oriented towards China, it made it exclusively for the domestic American audience. Because a very different world is now being formed there, with different values and fundamentally new behavioral norms.
Marketing textbooks say you want to sell more, stand out. Since all other topics of distancing from competitors have long been exhausted, in America today the popular “civil” agenda is actively used. Now it is fashionable and useful to pretend not to be white there.
Jessica Krug, an activist teaching African American history at George Washington University, wrote a post-exposure in which she revealed that she had been pretending to be black for years. Because it is profitable to be colored in the new America. In every sense, including legal.
For example, if you, as the owner of a company, prove that you are of color, you may qualify for assistance under the Washington State Business in Disadvantaged Enterprises (DBE) program, which was specifically launched by the US Department of Transportation to help companies owned by women and minorities. , access to government contracts.
Yes, and at the household level, this is found all the time. Rodney Baker, the owner of a casino chain in Canada, and his Russian wife Ekaterina (an actress by profession) flew in a private jet to the Indian community in the Yukon and, posing as employees of a local motel, were vaccinated against covid with the Moderna vaccine without waiting in line.
So Nike just wanted to stand out relatively cheaply, to thunder in the media, to be written and talked about by observers and activists, thereby doing virtually free publicity. And what some China would think about this, they didn’t care much. Since when, of course, the first country in the world should generally worry about the feelings of “those who we do not care about”.
It is important to understand that these are not some isolated special cases, this is mass psychology, widely popular at all levels of American society. Up to the highest state policy.
Speaking at the first big press conference, President Joe Biden did not just carry on utter nonsense about America’s goals and objectives for the near future, he directly showed that the entire ruling American establishment generally does not understand well what kind of world he really lives in.
But he doesn’t care about them. They speak only for themselves, listen only to themselves, and consider themselves the only right ones. In full accordance with the behavior of wood grouses on the current.
The only difference was that, instead of another public statement of “deep concern”, the Chinese authorities suddenly went for a harsh aggravation. Rrrrraz – and there is no more Nike in China. Along with the Swedish company H&M, which is Swedish only at the place of registration, and so the vast majority of its business is located in the United States.
Hence her statement of intention to stop buying cotton from the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. We thought it would work, or even what price preferences it would be possible to get, but the bet did not work. At one point, all Chinese search engines completely forgot that H&M ever existed in China. And the stores were empty, as taxis no longer run to them, since the electronic maps of the Chinese navigators of the H&M stores also disappeared. At all. Even the company’s app from Xaiomi, Huawei and Vivo phones has evaporated.
Thus, China has clearly shown that it has not only changed, that Chinese geopolitics has made a qualitative transition to a fundamentally new level. From the previously traditional “let’s not quarrel” to a new line voiced by Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi at a meeting with Sergei Lavrov. The head of China’s foreign affairs expressed himself clearly: the days when it was possible to freely interfere in the internal affairs of China by fabricating lies are gone.
Two fundamental points follow from this.
The first is that there will definitely be a war between China and the United States. Moreover, the question, from the probabilistic-theoretical, finally moved to the practical time plane. It only seems that the Chinese market gave H&M only 5.2% of revenue, while for Nike it is 6.1%. The matter is much deeper.
In terms of total sales, China’s current domestic market is nearly three times that of the United States. And given the CCP’s announced plans to combat poverty and relocate 600 million peasants to cities in 10 years, which are likely to be successfully implemented, by 2030 the size of the Chinese domestic market will exceed the American one by 7-8 times. If the American companies fail to keep it, then, say, sneakers of the Dunk SB Low Paris model, at $ 34,900 per pair, Nike will somehow try to sell somewhere in Africa. With clear perspectives.
And just like that, China will not let American capital into its domestic market. And it certainly will not allow them to disobey the Chinese rules and regulations. It is possible to force him to radically change his policy only through a change in the leadership of the PRC to a pro-Western one, for which Washington needs to inflict a strategic military defeat on China.
The second point is most directly related to Russia. First of all, it clearly confirms the irrevocability of the times of any kind of Russian-Western friendship. And this means the uselessness of any attempts to return it in any way. Even through our unilateral concessions. Washington will not only continue the policy of strategically isolating Europe from Russia, but will strengthen it in every possible way.
At first glance, this is bad, since the number of problems in trade relations with European countries will increase in the near future. But at the same time, an opportunity opens up for the implementation of Russia’s offensive foreign policy on most of the key issues for the Russian Federation.
For example, it makes sense to finally solve the problem of the Minsk agreements through the official recognition of the state status of the LDNR with the subsequent annexation of the territory of the Republics to the Russian Federation, so to speak, “according to the Crimean scheme”. This will certainly cause a lot of noise, but we will already be completely indifferent to it.
But peace will immediately come to Donbass. Because Kiev will not go for shelling on the already officially declared Russian territory. Realizing well how easily the Russian army is already capable of such actions resolutely suppress and literally burn out the area from which terrorist attacks on Russian territory will come.
However, the point here is not even in Donbass itself, but in the ability to directly show the “opponents” the real price that they now have to pay for aggressive Russophobia.
He demonstrated the “Chinese cotton scandal” and another perspective – how Russia in the new conditions can revive its own light industry. In Soviet times, it formed almost 7.5% of GDP; at the end of 2019, its share in the GDP of the Russian Federation was only 1.1% (!). This is even without taking into account the fact that the size of the Russian economy as a whole is inferior to that of the USSR.
Of course, here we can say that after 1991 the main sources of raw materials, in particular, cotton growing, remained abroad. And during the transitional period, due to the loss of sales markets, they themselves greatly degraded. As a result, the industry not only fell into a crisis, but later found itself compelled to compete with obviously stronger world producers, which did not benefit it. However, now a good prospect is opening up for Russia to seriously revive this industry.
The fact is that for China, cotton and Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region are extremely closely related. Over 80% of all Chinese cotton is produced in XUAR. Including because the region is poor and in dire need of the development of any production, but there are no special reserves of raw materials, which does not allow the formation of an industrial cluster. And the climatic conditions are very suitable for the mass cultivation of just cotton. So China will produce cotton in XUAR anyway. And it turns out to be cheap there. This prompted Western brands to switch to it in the early 2000s.
Now, in connection with the politically motivated refusal of the leading American consumers from Chinese cotton raw materials, world exchange prices for cotton, according to industry experts, are likely to rise by 18-20%. That is, already this year we should expect an increase in prices for cotton goods, primarily clothing, by 25-30%. And, apparently, with the prospect of up to 35% next year.
This will open up quite a few peripheral markets (from Africa and Asia to South and Central America) that are not able to afford the same volume of consumption of final goods at such high prices. Russia can fill them, relying on the purchase of cheap Chinese cotton as a raw material for its own reviving production of consumer goods from it.
The process, of course, will not be quick. The recovery of the industry is associated with the technical re-equipment of existing enterprises and the construction of new ones, but in any case, it should be understood that the emerging prospect is not a short-term fluctuation of stock quotes, but the beginning of a large-scale long-term trend of transforming the entire world market.
In addition, we must understand that if we do not occupy the emerging niche, then Turkey or Malaysia will eventually undermine it for ourselves. But why should Russia agree with this? The “China Cotton Scandal” opens up perspectives that we simply must take advantage of.
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