Every once in a while, a news story comes out that shows bravery and courage in the business world. That does not happen all that often, so when it does, I like to talk about it. I am talking about the story of the Chinese tennis player that has gone missing and what that means for China’s upcoming Olympic games. WATCH NOW
Peng Shuai is one of the top tennis players in the world. She recently released allegations on social media that she was raped by one of the most powerful Chinese government officials. Shortly after her post, all her social media was removed, and she has gone missing in China. A written statement has been released by the government-controlled news media. In the statement Peng Shuai takes back her earlier claims, but there has been no confirmation from her that the statement is true.
Yesterday the government-controlled news media released a video showing Peng Shuai at a local event and eating at a restaurant. But in the video, Peng Shuai does not speak. Her coach is in the video telling people what the date is. And you can hear the video director’s voice in the background directing what is going on. The whole video is bizarre, and Peng Shuai has still not been allowed to communicate with anyone. It is unclear if she is being controlled, or if she is safe.
What I want to highlight is the actions of the WTA or the Women’s Tennis Association. The WTA released a public statement condemning China’s censorship of Peng Shuai’s statements, and the appearance that she is being unfairly detained for speaking out.
This was a brave action by the WTA. Let me explain how business in China works. The Chinese Communist Party controls everything. So if you want to do business in China, you cannot say anything negative about the government or you will be banned from the country. The Chinese market is huge. So the smart thing to do, if you want to make money, is to go along with the government’s actions.
So the WTA’s actions were brave, because China might just ban tennis in the entire country, if they feel like it threatens their power. The WTA made a choice, that the safety and security of their players is more important than making money. They gave up the potential revenue to stand up for what is right. You should not be able to rape women and then arrest them when they speak out against you. That is not okay. And it is not okay to look the other way, so that you can make money from it.
This is something that I talk about on this channel. When you make business decisions, you should not only look at how much money you are going to make, but also base your decision on what is right.
I want to also point out another brave action by the Wall Street Journal. One of the best writeups of this situation was released by the Wall Street Journal Editorial Board this Thursday. They not only discuss this case, but compare the actions of the WTA against the NBA, the National Basketball Association. In a shocking contrast, the NBA has shown time after time of supporting China, and silencing coaches and players who speak out against China’s horrible track record on human rights. The NBA makes a lot of money from lucrative clothing deals. These same clothes are made with cotton by slave labor in concentration camps in China. These camps are used to carry out genocide against the Uighur Muslims in China. The Chinese government disputes this, but the evidence is not debatable. We know this is going on. The US government has declared China’s actions genocide against the Uighur Muslims.
The NBA and WTA show two shockingly different approaches to making business decisions. The WTA showed bravery and courage in standing up for what is right, and the NBA has not. The NBA does not want to risk access to the lucrative Chinese market, and the NBA does not want to lose all the money they are making from slave labor.
Have we learned nothing in this country? Why are Americans making money by forcing slaves to work in cotton fields? What are we doing? I do not care how much money we are making, we should not be purchasing any clothing in America that is made using slave labor. Sometimes business decisions have to be made by doing what is right.
Bringing this back to the Wall Street Journal. The people who read the Wall Street Journal are typically wealthy and successful people, probably people who have investments in China. For the Wall Street Journal Editorial Board to print that article took courage, because they probably made some of the readers uncomfortable. I know that the media gets a lot of hate these days for fake news, but this is an example of real journalism. They reported the uncomfortable truth about what is going on in China as well as the hypocrisy of American business. That took courage and bravery. And it is good to see that journalism is still alive and well at the Wall Street Journal.
The 2022 Beijing Winter Olympic games are less than 100 days away, starting on February 4. A lot of businesses are going to have to make difficult decisions. There is a lot of money that comes from the Olympics involving sponsorships. I really hope that businesses think about their decisions. Are you making your decisions based on money alone? Or are you also thinking about what is right?
More than 200 human rights groups have written an open letter to NBC, BBC, and others to cancel their deals to broadcast the Olympic Games. In this letter, the human rights groups call the Olympics the “Genocide Games” and compare them to the games hosted in Germany in 1936 by Adolf Hitler’s Third Reich.
Here is the list of the corporate sponsors of the Olympic Games. These companies are going to have to decide, are they going to say something about China’s actions, or are they going to stay silent. I am going to read them out, because it is important that everyone knows who is supporting these Olympic games.
- Alibaba Group
- Dow Chemical
- General Electric
- Proctor & Gamble
What are these companies going to do? Are they going to act like the NBA or the WTA? I am going to say this again, just in case you did not hear me the first time. You companies are sponsoring a sporting event that 200 human rights groups are calling the “Genocide Games.” At some point you have to ask yourself whether it is a good business decision or not.
It is hard not to see the parallels between what was happening in Nazi Germany and what is happening in China today. WWII did not happen that long ago. There are people alive today who remember what happened. 6 million Jewish people were killed in concentration camps. How could something so horrible happen? It was because if people spoke up against the government, the police would show up at your house and kill you. And so everyone stayed silent.
The same thing is happening today. One of the top tennis players in the world has spoken up about a horrible rape by one of China’s top leaders, and she has gone missing. How can these companies stay silent, and sponsor the Olympics in 100 days, in order to make a buck?
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Neither Zach De Gregorio or Wolves and Finance shall be liable for any damages related to information in this video. It is recommended you contact a CPA in your area for business advice.