Over 200 groups worldwide have organized petitions and staged protests outside corporate offices to encourage Beijing Games boycottGETTY IMAGES
Human rights activists say that the "risk of offending the rulers of the world’s second-biggest economy has caused" Olympic sponsors to "stick with their deals and stay mum on China’s human rights abuses" ahead of the Beijing Games, according to Jeanne Whalen of the WASHINGTON POST. Over 200 groups worldwide "have taken part in the effort" to encourage diplomatic boycotts of the Beijing Games, "writing letters, organizing petitions and staging protests outside corporate offices." German financial services company Allianz was the "only corporation that agreed to meet with activists," but it remains "one of a dozen global Olympics sponsors." Many sponsors count China as "one of their biggest markets." For Intel, China "represents 26 percent of its revenue." Intel last month sent a letter to suppliers "asking them to avoid sourcing goods or services from the Xinjiang region," but the company "quickly became the target of fury from Chinese state media and Internet users," prompting it to apologize. Other Olympic sponsors "largely skirted questions" about China’s human rights record. Coca-Cola "declined to comment." Airbnb said its nine-year deal with the IOC, which began in '20, is not “organized around individual Games, but rather, a long-term partnership organized around the economic empowerment of individual athletes.” Swiss watch brand Omega, the official timekeeper at the Olympics since '32, said it has a policy “not to get involved in certain political issues” (WASHINGTON POST, 1/17).