Global Networks. 2011;11(3):334-354.
The rise of China as the global factory raises challenges for many developingcountries
and their producers. The football-manufacturing sector is a case inwhich China has
emerged as a global player. It is also a sector where compliancewith international
labour standards is considered critical. Leading internationalbrands dominate the
industry and control the global value chain for sports goods. Inthis article, we explore
the relationship between the rise of China and internationallabour standards and consider
how labour standards have affected the geographyand organization of global football
production. We draw on evidence from three ofthe main production locations – China,
Pakistan and India. It appears thatcompliance with labour standards not only has different
implications for the threeproduction locations, but also that compliance alone is
an insufficient basis forcompeting against China.