Sportswear maker Li Ning closing regional HQ here

Sportswear maker Li Ning closing regional HQ here

Li Ning, the eponymous giant Chinese sportswear firm founded by the gymnast who became the most decorated Chinese athlete at the 1984 Olympics, is closing its regional headquarters here.

A source close to the firm told The Straits Times that Li Ning Sports Singapore would cease to exist by Dec 31 - a victim of the parent firm's radical cost-cutting amid fierce competition.

Most of its 23 employees here have left, the source added, but five from the human resource and finance departments are still settling outstanding transactions as the entity winds down.

Li Ning has its office at Scorpio East Building in Tai Seng and one retail outlet in Ion Orchard.

The firm's local distributor will take over the reins of its South-east Asian business, including the Ion Orchard shop.

Li Ning's Chinese headquarters warned on Monday that it will post a significant loss this financial year as it is spending as much as 1.8 billion yuan (S$351 million) to buy back inventory from distributors, get newer products into stores and improve its sales network.

Li Ning, which is China's largest sportswear maker, is also facing tough competition from rivals such as Adidas and Anta.

Its withdrawal from Singapore is just one move to scale back operations worldwide.

Li Ning shut its only retail outlet in the United States in March and began selling products online instead.

Its shops in Asia will remain open.

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