Hedge Fund manager Kyle Bass, a frequent critic of the Chinese Communist Party, on Thursday blew up American companies that spoke out against social injustice in the U.S. but did not take strong positions on human rights abuses in China.
“If U.S. national security is at the disposal of corporate America, we’ll all speak Chinese quickly,” Hayman Capital Management founder Texas-based Hayman Capital Management told Acesparks’s Squawk Box.
In particular, Bass tore up Nike CEO John Donahou for his comments with Wall Street analysts last week when determining the company’s earnings.
According to a FactSet transcript, Donaho said, “We have been living in China for more than 40 years. [Knight] spent a lot of time and effort in China in the early days and today we are the biggest sports brand out there and we are a brand for China and China. “Knight founded Nike in 1963 under the name Blue Ribbon Sports.” We have a strong consumer franchise in China and they feel very attached to our brand. And so we continue to invest, ”Donaho added.
Bass described the words as “actually very unbelievable.” He added: “Here’s what his job is, I think, to maximize profitability. They’re fighters for social justice, they see themselves as worthy until they affect their wallets.”
Nike faced opposition earlier this year, saying it was “concerned” about allegations of forced labor in Xinjiang, a western region inhabited by Uighur Muslims and other ethnic minorities.
In January, 24 hours before Joe Biden was sworn in as president, then-Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called the Chinese government’s treatment of Uighurs in Xinjiang “genocide”. The administration of former President Donald Trump also took a firm stance on China in terms of trade tariffs on Chinese imports until a “first-tier” trade agreement was reached in early 2020, and this is a reciprocal collection of U.S. imports. brought the ims.
In March this year, the Biden administration also imposed sanctions on two Chinese government officials for their role in “arbitrary arrests and serious physical violence, including human rights abuses against Uighurs.”
In addition to China’s important role in supply chains, the country has become an important consumer market for many American companies. With a population of 1.4 billion, China currently has the second largest economy in the world.
Since opening up Western investment, despite its economic growth The post-Mao period, China is not a democracy, and Beijing’s extensive control over the economy makes business, especially American-based firms, vulnerable to avoid the wrath of the Chinese government.
Bass said it is difficult to try to cross this fine line between remaining increasingly vocal on social issues in the U.S. and staying on President Xi Jinping’s economic benefits.
“Whether it’s LeBron James, whether it’s Nike or Disney, they’re going to be social justice fighters in the U.S. because it’s fashionable to do that,” Bass said, famous for his successful betting on subprime mortgages during the 2008 financial crisis.
“When the U.S. State Department talks about a regime that has called genocide and committed crimes against humanity, their lips have been sealed,” he added. “They’re actually for China, for China.”
Representatives from Nike, James and Disney did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Acesparks.
NBA superstar James, who signed a long-term contract with Nike in 2019, has come under fire for his handling of the controversy surrounding then-Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Mori. More’s tweet in support of pro-democracy activists in Hong Kong was met with a hard blow from the Chinese government.
The Los Angeles Lakers had said they did not feel educated enough about the contradictions between Hong Kong and the Chinese mainland for a correct interpretation. Many considered this to be an inadequate position to accept James’s speech history James recently spoke out against police violence and racism in the United States defended the right to vote.
Last year, Disney received a warm welcome from state agencies in the Xinjiang region for thanking them for the final credits for reviving Mulan.
Disney’s chief financial officer, Christine McCarthy, has traditionally defended the move, acknowledging “national and local governments that allow filming there” is commonplace in the film industry. The loans “recognized both China and places in New Zealand. I would have left it alone, but it has caused a lot of problems for us,” he said at the Bank of America conference in September.
Bass said leaders in Washington need to show “leadership” around human rights abuses in Beijing as U.S. companies continue to pursue the “golden pot” of access to the Chinese economy.
“It requires the State Department, the Department of Commerce, the National Security Complex, the National Security Council to come together and actually make some tough decisions. Just don’t lead with rhetoric and do nothing on the other side because corporate America won’t be like that.” stop chasing profit, ”he added.