Chinese mainland media outlets reported on September 14 that Adidas CEO Rorsted recently said, “We don’t understand consumers well enough, so we left room for Chinese competitors who are better off.”  

As reported by Reuters, China has forced hundreds of thousands of ethnic Uyghurs and other minorities to pick cotton by hand in Xinjiang. This coercive labor program has sparked calls for governments to ban all cotton imports from the Xinjiang region.

Accordingly, Nike and H&M also expressed concern about this forced labor abuse. Both Adidas and Nike announced they would not source supplies or raw material from the Xinjiang region in 2021.

Since then, the two sports giants, Adidas and Nike, have not recovered their market in China. In contrast, domestic brands such as Anta and Li Ning have seen their performance rise.

Anta’s financial report shows that in the first half of 2022, Anta Group achieved a profit of $3,7 billion (almost 26 billion yuan). Li Ning’s revenue reached $1,7 billion (12.000 billion yuan).

According to Adidas’ CEO, Rorsted, “today’s Chinese consumers like [products] with a ‘Chinese feel’.” 

According to the BBC, there have been many cases of Weibo or online state platforms shutting down or deleting accounts or content that is not conducive to the direction of the Chinese regime.

But, with the continuous evolution of public events, with the help of online social media platforms represented by Weibo and e-commerce platforms represented by Taobao and Douyin Business platform, domestic sports brands have more display opportunities.

Taking Hongxing Erke’s Douyin platform as an example, a single topic of donation# has been played 240 million times.  

The relevant response video of Hongxing Erke’s president, Wu Rongzhao, received 6.833 million likes. 

Rorsted believes that the main reason for Adidas’s sharp drop in revenue in Greater China is the COVID pandemic and its restrictions, which led to continuous supply chain disruptions.

According to Bloomberg, amid a rising wave of nationalism, Chinese customers have boycotted foreign companies since 2016.

At the same time, the political platform of domestic brands follows the trend of nationalism.

Anta quickly withdrew from the BCI organization after Adidas and Nike’s incident of saying no to Xinjiang’s forced labor-related cotton.

After saying no to this kind of forced labor in Xinjiang, Anta, on the contrary, stated that it would continue to purchase and use this kind of cotton in the future. 

And surprisingly, while this kind of shocking statement is deleted from the mainland’s official media, it became a hot search.

Although domestic brands took advantage of the regime’s public events to win their first battle in the market, the domestic design of shoes and clothing still cannot eliminate the imitation background.

While Adidas has core shoe technologies for the control, balance, and lightness of true shoes, local sports brands are pale in the patent record.

Under the pandemic’s influence, followed by a deteriorating economic environment and unexpected political platforms, Nike and Adidas have also been affected by the current downward trend.

Nike announced that its digital platform’s planned transformation would begin in July.

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