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Nike shelves sneaker release after designer speaks out on Hong Kong

Nike (NKE), the brand that encourages people to "Believe in something, even if it means sacrificing everything," recently scrapped a sneaker release in China due to the shoe designer's political beliefs.

During recent protests in Hong Kong, designer Jun Takahashi — founder of the "punk-centric" UNDERCOVER brand — took to Instagram to show his support for protestors, posting a photo of them with the caption, “no extradition to China.” Following a backlash on social media, the Financial Times reported that Takahashi deleted the post from the Undercover site saying it was an “individual opinion” shared by mistake — and Nike axed the shoe’s release.

“Based on feedback from Chinese consumers, we have withdrawn from China a small number of products that were designed by a collaborator,” a Nike spokesperson told Yahoo Finance.

Takahashi founded Undercover in 1993 and has collaborated with NIke since 2009, including the popular Undercover x Nike Daybreak collection released on June 7. The collection adds a futuristic flair to the classic Nike 1980’s running shoe silhouette.

Urban Necessities founder Jaysse Lopez told Yahoo Finance that the incident “was not a good look” for Undercover but that Nike will invariably recover from any negative feedback it received for pulling the shoe.

Japanese designer Jun Takahashi checks the venue before his Undercover show at Giardini di Boboli during the Pitti Uomo men's fashion week in Florence June 17, 2009. REUTERS/Marco Bucco (ITALY FASHION SOCIETY)

China is a big market for Nike. Last quarter, the company pulled in $1.6 billion from the country. And according to Cowen, Greater China will likely be a significant contributor to Nike’s growth over the next five years.

Reggie Wade is a writer for Yahoo Finance. Follow him on Twitter at @ReggieWade.

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