July 11, 2008

Letter from Olympic Corporate Sponsor * Microsoft

I recently joined other villagers in sending messages to Olympic corporate sponsors asking them to use their influence over China to make things better in Darfur.

Here is response that I received from Microsoft:

Thank you for your recent letter to Microsoft regarding the humanitarian crisis in Darfur and the 2008 Olympic Games.

The Beijing Olympics present an opportunity for countries to come together in athletic competition, and to draw attention to universal values such as individual and team endeavor, fair competition, excellence and achievement. The Olympics have the power to transform global relationships, create unity and accelerate positive change in the world.

Microsoft respects the International Olympic Committee’s decision to select China as the host country of this year’s games and is pleased to be able to support the games as a softw
are supplier and a distributor of licensed Olympics coverage through our partnership with NBC Universal.

Like people all around the world, we are shocked and horrified by the violence and human rights violations in Darfur. We commend Dream for Darfur and other organizations for their leadership in casting a spotlight on this atrocity and the need for immediate international resolution. Governments and international organizations – the United Nations chief among them – as well as humanitarian relief organizations - will need to continue to work together locally and globally to address the problems in the Sudan. Microsoft will continue to support these organizations in their mission through technology assistance and other resources.

We appreciate having this opportunity to clarify our position and activities and thank you again for taking the time to share your views with Microsoft.

Daniel T. Bross, Director
Stakeholder Engagement
Microsoft Corporation

Have you heard from any of the corporate sponsors that you wrote to about China's role in Darfur?


SjP said...

I wrote to several corporate sponsors and received responses from the Bud and Coke folks. Bud said that they were hopeful that diplomatic discussions would bring about a change in Darfur; Coke said that they were going to continue investments to provide water to the region since that was the "primary reason for the conflict". No mention of China - just continued diplomatic talks and water...that's it!

The Urban Scientist said...

I'm curious. Can these corporations compell China? I mean really. Olympic Sponsorship is temporary and the location of any Olympics is transient. If anything it is the Olympic committee that selects the locale (and I disagreed with China in '08 - I didn't think China deserved it because of Tibet and other humanitariam issued w/in China.)

Maybe we have some government culture blinders. As members of a republic (and a capatilistic nation) we understand the role of protest and boycott. I imagine that is a foreign concept to a government that is communist and the businesses are state run. Outside organizations exist in China at the discretion of the government.

And let's be real, China has never had a problem ignoring threats from the West before.

What can these companies really do?

Villager said...

Sojourner - Thanks for sharing the info on the corporate responses. I don't drink beer so I can't impact Bud. However, I am a soda pop drinker. I'm boycotting Coca-Cola products as a result of their non-responsiveness to Darfur issue...

Urban Scientist - China is very image-conscious. They want their games to go off flawlessly. That ego is the leverage needed to get them to act differently towards Darfur situation...

Cliff Samuels Jr said...

My problem with all the China protests is that HERE in the great USA, many of those issues we want China to remove still exist here. Hard to tell someone to do what you say while the Bush administration and the Right wingers are performing those same actions against Americans. Look at your post on the New Yorker cover and that demonstrates the mind set that still exist today in America. We need to clean up our act before enforcing out values on another culture. China is WRONG in their treat to its citizens but America not that far behind in mistreatment of the people.

Villager said...

Cliff - No doubt we must clean up our own house. Methinks that is what will occur in November with the POTUS election...

kimbatch said...

The principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of another country must not be an excuse to remain silent in the face of violations.

Economic profits for China should not be built on the killings and displacement of Africans.


Villager said...

Kimbatch - Thank you for sharing your village voice with us. I hope you'll come back again in the future. I agree with you. The fact that we are not all that we can be as a nation is not an excuse for us to stay silent on China's support of genocidal behavior in Darfur...

Don said...


May I suggest a link related to the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games?

Our site:

URL: http://www.2008chinaolympics.com
Title: Beijing Olympics

Please let me know if you want a link back.
Many thanks for your reply.

Best Regards,