Despite not having qualified for the tournament, the Chinese Communist Party appears to be spending unprecedented amounts on various sports stars and their teams. The regime is also running major advertising campaigns in Qatar. 

According to the consulting firm Investment Monitor, investments by China-based corporations have surpassed those by the U.S. for the first time. Chinese companies have spent a total of $1.39 billion on advertising and sponsorship, while U.S. companies have spent a total of $1.1 billion.  

Chinese companies such as Hisense, Mengniu Dairy, Vivo, and Wanda, have a small footprint outside of China. But they generate huge profits in their country and are now sponsoring the event that is being televised to half of the world’s population.

Some critics believe that this is a Chinese Communist Party (CCP) soft power strategy to infiltrate the West, and that the real reasons are to create a global monopoly of various markets. 

Remember that in China most companies and corporations have close ties to the state, which provides them with special favors, as well as better and easier access to financing. They are unlike most Western companies that are privately owned and depend on product innovation to stay afloat. 

In this scenario, the CCP has historically been involved in unfair trade practices, whether through the theft of intellectual property or the use of slave labor in forced labor camps. 

The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights released a report on the situation of human rights in Xinjiang in August. 

The report said that the regime’s “arbitrary and discriminatory detentions” of Uyghurs and other Muslims in Xinjiang may constitute crimes “against humanity.”  

Tomoya Obokata, U.N. special rapporteur on contemporary forms of slavery, believes that the CCP has enslaved the population of Xinjiang, including Uyghur and Kazakh minorities, similar to what it does with the Tibetan population. 

The report covers a long list of practices considered to be modern slavery. It states, “The Special Rapporteur considers it reasonable to conclude that forced labor among Uyghurs, Kazakhs, and other ethnic minorities in sectors such as agriculture and manufacturing has occurred in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (China).” (See report here). 

It is not clear how a country with so many human rights violations is allowed to have its companies freely advertise in events with such a large audience. What is clear is that the world is increasingly attentive to the constant violation of human rights committed by the Chinese regime, and it only remains to be seen whether the exposure at the world’s largest sporting event can change the world’s negative perception of the “Made in China” label.

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