Nike has been criticized for contracting with factories in countries such as China, and Mexico. Vietnam Labour Watch, an activist group, has documented that factories contracted by Nike have violated minimum wage and overtime laws in Vietnam as late as 1996, although Nike claims that this practice has been halted.
The company has been subject to much critical coverage of the often poor working conditions and of cheap overseas labor employed in the free where their goods are typically manufactured. Sources of this criticism.Nike has been criticized about ads which referred to women in the U.S. while engaging in practices in factories which some felt disempowered women.
During the 1990s, Nike faced criticism for use of child labor in factories it contracted to manufacture soccer
balls. Although Nike took action to curb or at least reduce the practice of child labor, they continue to contract their production to companies that operate in areas where inadequate regulation and monitoring make it hard to ensure that child labor is not being used.
In 2001 a BBC documentary uncovered occurrences of child labor and poor working conditions in a
Cambodian factory used by Nike.In the documentary, six girls were focused on, all of whom worked seven days a week, often 16 hours a day.
Campaigns have been taken up by many colleges and universities, especially groups as well as several anti-sweatshop groups such as the Despite these campaigns, however, Nike's annual revenues have increased from $6.4 billion in 1996 to nearly $17 billion in 2007, according to the company's annual reports.
A July 2008 investigation by Australian Channel 7 News found a large number of cases involving forced labour in one of the biggest Nike apparel factories. The factory
located in Malaysia was filmed by an undercover crew who found instances of squalid living conditions and forced labour. Nike have since stated that they will take corrective action to ensure the continued abuse does not occur.
Nike also caused controversy during the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, China, when their sponsored Chinese athlete, Liu Xiang, withdrew from the Olympic 110 metre hurdles, leaving the track after a false start by another competitor. Lui claimed
that he withdrew due an ankle injury,owever, an anonymous message was posted on the internet, purportedly from a source close to Nike, claiming that the corporation had forced Liu to withdraw as he was unlikely to win, thereby tarnishing their image. Nike responded by announcing that "we have immediately asked relevant [Chinese] government departments to investigate those that started the rumour".