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Western companies on the front lines of an ideological conflict

Footage of burning Nike-brand sneakers blazed across numerous forums on China’s social media on Thursday. A cynical hashtag read #Herewegoagain: on to the next round. It is nothing new that Western companies are brutally pilloried in the People’s Republic. This always happens when Beijing sees its national interests threatened. As soon as foreign companies take a position on politically charged issues, they are met with a hail of hate speeches and calls for boycotts, which are at least multiplied by the state media, and in some cases even sparked by them.

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