Nike has pulled the plug on its limited edition sports shoes in China after its Japanese fashion designer showed support for Hong Kong protests against its proposed extradition bill in an Instagram post, according to a report published in Financial Times. Hong Kong has been hit by the biggest political crisis in decades over the government's plan to allow extradition to mainland China that would allow lawmakers to send suspects to China for trial.
According to a report, Nike's line of limited-edition sports shoes is designed by Undercover, the studio created by Japanese fashion designer Jun Takahashi. Earlier this month, Undercover reportedly put up a picture of Hong Kong protesters on Instagram with the slogan - "No extradition to China." Due to its Instagram post, Undercover reportedly endured a severe backlash on social media from Chinese users. Undercover removed the Instagram post saying that it was an "individual opinion" that was posted by mistake.
The report further reveals that many retailers in China have stopped selling Nike's line of limited edition sports shoes in the country without explanation. Neither Nike nor Undercover's Jun Takahashi have issued any statement on the whole episode so far. Hong Kong has been rocked by political violence as protesters opposed to a proposed China extradition law clashed with police. Earlier, the popular encrypted messaging app Telegram announced it had suffered a major cyber-attack that originated from China. Telegram is being used by protesters to coordinate.
Hong Kong protesters are seeking to safeguard their identities from potential retaliation by authorities exercising mass data collection and sophisticated facial recognition technology. Agnes, a second-year college student who declined to give her surname, said she wore a face mask as soon as she left a subway train in the downtown Admiralty district to join Wednesday’s overnight protest by pro-democracy demonstrators.
“Everybody coming out is wearing masks because you don’t know what people will do with the information,” Agnes said as friends nodded in agreement. None of them would give their names, saying they worried about how school authorities would react if Hong Kong or China’s central government asked for information about them.
(With AP inputs)