Nike apologises to Chinese over offensive kung-fu ad

HONG KONG - Nike has apologised for a commercial in which a US basketball player, LeBron James, is shown defeating a kung-fu master and two Chinese women, which was banned by the government in China.

The ad, called "chamber of fear", was taken off the air in China after it was deemed to be insulting and that it had offended national feelings.

Nike has defended the ad, saying it was inspired by 1970s Hong Kong kung-fu films, and that it had hoped that it would help Asians face their fear of basketball.

In a statement, Nike said: "Nike expresses a deep apology to Chinese consumers for their concerns about LeBron James in the 'chamber of fear' advertisements."

Earlier this year, Nike had to pull an Australian advertisement showing a group of teenage girls swooning over their dreamy tennis coach, after it appeared at the same time as high-profile tennis coach Gavin Hopper was jailed for three-and-a-half years for indecently assaulting a 14-year-old student in the mid-80s.

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