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Beijing Olympics sponsors distance themselves from involvement

Beijing Olympics sponsors distance themselves from involvement

CNN reported that the Olympic sponsors are walking a tightrope as their involvement in the Beijing Winter Olympics next month becomes more difficult amid worsening geopolitical tensions with China.

The White House last month called for a diplomatic boycott of the Olympics to protest human rights abuses Washington believes Beijing is committing in the western region of Xinjiang.

According to the report, Coca-Cola, Intel, Visa, and Airbnb have all been called to end their involvement with the event because of Xinjiang.

In addition to criticizing businesses, some politicians claim they are undermining their ability to send a clear message to Beijing through diplomatic boycotts. Others question the value of sponsoring an event in which tickets won't be available for sale to the public due to pandemic rules.

Executives in global corporations have few good options as they try to navigate between the world's two largest economies. Stay silent, and risk alienating consumers in places such as the US. Pull back, and risk damaging their prospects in places such as China.

According to Dipanjan Chatterjee, a vice president and principal analyst at Forrester in charge of brand strategy. Despite the risks, foreign companies still tread on thin ice. Nike, H&M and other Western brands faced a boycott for their stance on forced labor in Xinjiang last year.

"This is a very, very unusual year," Chatterjee told CNN Business. "Typically at this time of the year, you know, all the brands are all agog with excitement because the Olympics is right around the corner … Instead, what you've found is that they've retreated into their shells."

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