According to the China State News Agency, Nike was ordered by a Beijing court on December 29, 2004 to pay Zhu Zhiqiang 300,000 yuan ($36,000) for a stickman television ad that Nike broadcast last year. Athough Nike argued that the stickman figure was in the public domain and lacked originality, the court reportedly concluded that "ahead of the completion of the cartoon character of the stickman by Zhu in 2000, there was no such artistic work in China. So the character was original and should be protected by Chinese laws. Nike used images similar to the plaintiff's work in its advertisement without receiving authorization from the plaintiff, resulting in copyright infringement." The court also required Nike to stop the infringing and to issue a public apology to Zhu. Zhang Zaiping, a Nike representative, told China Daily that "We will most probably appeal to a higher court."
On the same day, Nike announced that it has donated emergency cash totaling $1 million to four relief organizations providing aid to the victims of the tsunami waves that have killed more than an estimated 77,000 in Southeastern Asia and Eastern Africa.