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Xinjiang cotton issue divides China's biggest sportswear group

Anta Sports at odds with international unit as consumers wield growing power

(Source photos by AP, Getty Images and screenshot from Wilson's website) 

HONG KONG -- China's largest sportswear company is at loggerheads with its own international subsidiary over whether to use cotton produced in a minority region tied to reports of forced labor, underlining how the retail world is being split over an issue that has already brought Western brands into conflict with Chinese consumers.

Anta Sports said in a statement last month, "We will keep buying and using China cotton," acknowledging its long-time consumption of cotton produced in Xinjiang, home to the predominantly Muslim Uyghur people.

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