(Minghui.org) Li-Ning’s sportswear was marketed as “China’s leading sports utility business,” “A professional athletic brand that truly represents China,” and “China’s sports industry entering a brand new era.” However, the reality may not be what meets the eye.
The Li-Ning sportswear company did not disclose many things about their puffer-down jackets on its official website. The jackets are not made where the company claims. They are substandard, and unsanitary. Worst of all, they were made using the free labor of prisoners in Shenyang City First Prison, in Liaoning Province.
A practitioner of Falun Dafa, a spiritual practice currently persecuted in China, was forced to make down jackets for free when he was incarcerated in the prison because he refused to renounce his faith. While he was forced to operate machines to fill the jackets with down feathers, Mr. Guo Yanda from Yingkou City, Liaoning Province, constantly risked getting heat shocks and suffocation, and being infected with tuberculosis. He was always covered in rashes in summer, because the down stuck to his skin.
The following is Mr. Guo’s experience:
“The prison owned a production line for puffer-down jackets in summer, and T-shirts in winter. Mr. Guo was assigned to stuff down into the jackets. He worked in an isolated room filled with a lot of down feathers, and three machines. This was exhausting, filthy work during the summer that infected many operators with tuberculosis. He had to wear a mask while working. The temperature in the room was over 40 degrees Celsius (104 Fahrenheit) as the machines generated a lot of heat. He wore only underpants and was constantly covered in sweat and down feathers. He had to repeatedly run outside to wash off the feathers and cool down to prevent suffocation and heat shock. His skin almost always had heat rashes.”
“During some years, the work continued until December because of the large orders. When he rinsed off the feathers, he was covered in frost before he returned to the small room. He sometimes had to work from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m. with little sleep each day. If someone couldn’t finish the daily quota, they had to bring the work back to the cell and couldn’t sleep until it was finished. The guards stopped the pipeline if inspectors came.”
The following are a few inconvenient facts about Li-Ning’s puffer-down jackets provided by an insider.
1. Li-Ning’s puffer-down jackets are “Made in Prison”
The Li-Ning clothing company became listed in Hong Kong in June 2004. The company claimed that Li-Ning’s products were no longer just made in China. Many people don’t know that not only were the majority of the company’s puffer-down jackets made in China, they were made in Shenyang City First Prison in Liaoning Province. The prison manufactures over 800,000 puffer-down jackets for Li-Ning each year. The free labor comes from the prisoners, mostly Falun Dafa practitioners. The prison made all of the puffer-down jackets worn by the staff members and Chinese athletes at the 2022 Beijing Olympic Winter Games.
2. Substandard jacket filling
The company claimed its puffer-down jackets were of high quality and contained 90 percent down feathers. Inside the prison, the amount of down feathers added to the jackets was not as advertised. The operator of the down-filling machine would downgrade the amount of the down used for a particular size. For example, the machine filled the amount of down for a Small-size jacket into a Large-size jacket. The prison authorities sell the extra down to make extra profit.
3. Unsanitary environment pollutes jacket fabric
In addition to the year-round production of puffer-down jackets, the workers in the prison also make shirts and bras in winter, and winter clothing in summer.
The down-filling was not properly contained in the prison workshop, and it flies and sticks everywhere, which has caused many of the workers to develop tuberculosis. As a result, the jackets made in the prison more than likely carry tuberculosis bacteria.
The workers who were death row inmates, drug addicts, and traffickers, often spit at will. When they are unhappy about the prison, or when someone comes to inspect the place, they wipe off the spit or any filthy spot with whatever materials they have on hand. Consumers are not aware of this when they wear the jackets.
4. Cheating the Inspection
The prison authorities make some quality products to deceive the quality control person so that the substandard products can also pass inspection.
Li-Ning claims that its clothing production line is located in Dandong City in Liaoning Province. When the inspectors go to inspect the production line in Dandong, the prison authorities ship their unfinished puffer-down jackets there. As soon as the inspectors leave, the jackets are shipped back to the prison.
Chinese version available