Have you ever heard of Li-Ning? You will. Li-Ning is a Chinese sportswear company with about 1 billion US$ in annual revenue and more than 7,000 stores in China. The company was founded in 1990 by Li-Ning, a Chinese gymnast who won three gold medals in the Summer Olympics of 1984. To Li-Ning, starting a sportswear company has been a matter of national pride. He recalls the moment when he stood on the podium in 1984. Looking down, he realized that he was wearing a foreign brand, something that he wanted to change once and forever. Today, his products are endorsed by non-Chinese athletes, such as Baron Davis of the LA Clippers. Not only does Li-Ning’s logo bear a striking similarity with the Nike Swoosh, Li-Ning now has also set up shop in Nike’s front yard. In February, Li-Ning opened its first American showroom in Portland’s Pearl District. To this blogger, that’s just a sign of the things to come. Many industries and companies will see increased Chinese competition in their home markets.
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