Nike supports production suspensions in Vietnam amid protests

HONG KONG Thu May 15, 2014 3:51am EDT

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HONG KONG May 15 (Reuters) - Sports wear giant Nike Inc said on Thursday it supported moves by some factories to halt production in Vietnam amid anti-China protests that had seen rioters set fire to foreign factories in the south of the country.

Global exporter Li & Fung, based in Hong Kong, said the factory facilities of some suppliers in Vietnam had been damaged during the protests and the disruption would mainly hit clients in the United States.

"We are aware of, and concerned by, the incidents that occurred in Vietnam over the last two days," Kate Meyers, Senior Director at Nike Global Communications, told Reuters in an email.

"Nike shares the factories' commitment to the safety of management and workers, and we support their decision to close several factories," Meyers said. "We are in contact with our team in Vietnam and are monitoring the situation closely."

Yue Yue Industrial Holdings Ltd, maker of footwear for companies such as Nike and Adidas, on Wednesday halted production in Vietnam.

The anti-China riots erupted in industrial zones in the south of the country on Tuesday after protests against Beijing placing an oil rig in a part of the South China Sea claimed by Hanoi. (Reporting by Donny Kwok; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)

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