Friday, March 17, 2017

Nike apologise: Chinese customers not happy:

Many Chinese consumers remain satisfied with Nike's apology for false advertising, demanding the company to be more serious and sincere to Chinese consumers. After being recently accused by China Central Television (CCTV)of selling shoes that didn't include the advertised cushions, US sports giant Nike apologized via its Sina Weibo account amid a public outcry. While admitting the wrong description with regard to the Hyperdunk 2008 FTB shoes, Nike apologized and offered to refund the money for the shoes priced 1,499 yuan ($217) in China. Consumers can apply for a compensation up to three times the original price, according to China's law. Nike wrote in the statement that the company will "provide" 4,500 yuan to buyers, without specifying what the payment is for. However, many consumers wrote online that they are not satisfied with the offer, and went further by accusing Nike of taking a "double standard" and "discriminatory policy" toward Chinese consumers, such as setting different standards in terms of commodity quality, after-sales service and product recalls in China. Some Net users also questioned why Nike did not specify the 4,500 yuan as compensation, saying the company's apology is not sincere. In 2012, the company was fined 4.87 million yuan by Beijing's commerce authority after it advertised a high-end basketball shoe as double air cushioned while the footwear sold in China in 2011 only contained one air cushion.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Tiger-head shoes

Tiger-head shoes (Chinese: 虎头鞋) are an example of traditional Chinese folk handicraft used as footwear for children. In Chinese culture, tigers are regarded as auspicious and people believed tiger patterned shoes (cat-head shoes in the North of China) help ward off evil spirits and make children as strong as tigers. The vivid image of tiger-head pattern was thought to expel evil spirits and protect their children from diseases and disasters.

The origins of tiger-head shoes are unknown, but there are many legends. One involves a monster who stole away all the children from a village with one exception. He was a little boy wearing shoes decorated with a tiger’s head. The shoes were made by his mother who was gifted in embroidery. People began to imitate the practice. Tiger-head shoes were especially popular in North China, with several regional variations in design. The best known is from the southern part of Hebei province.

Hu Shuqing, from Qixian County, Central China’s Henan Province, started collecting them after she was given a pair of shoes from others as a gift. Over 17 years, she has amassed hundreds of thousands of tiger-head shoes which is valued over one million yuan ($145,000).

Making tiger-head shoes requires high level embroidery and needlework skills. The tiger’s mouth, eye, eyebrow and nose are often given exaggerated outlines to express its power. The vamp (upper part of the shoe) is mainly coloured in red and yellow. Hu has called for protection of the traditional Chinese folk handicraft.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Professional Chinese Basketball: No private shoe deals

Professional basketball players in China are prevented from having private shoe sponsorship after the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) have signed an exclusive five year deal with local brand, Li Ning. Players are now prevented from wearing Nike, Adidas shoes on the court. The ban includes everything from jerseys to shoes. The new sponsorship deal is estimated to be worth $300 million (US) and any player who defies the ban will face suspension according to the CBA.

Problems already arose recently when Yi Jianlian (Guangdong Southern Tigers and former Los Angeles Lakers) complained of sore feet and removed his Li Ning shoes to wear his Nikes during a game. The referee refused to let him back on the court but when he reappeared still wearing his Nike sneakers later in the third quarter, the referee allowed him in the court. He now faces a one match ban. Previously, players were allowed to wear their personal sneakers but only with the logos covered and if they were prepared to pay a fine.


In the US, a salary cap limits the amount of money players can earn, but they can benefit from lucrative endorsement deals such as a shoe contract. Many players have a number of sponsorships and are able to significantly supplement their income through endorsements.

Friday, September 9, 2016

Huang Maocai helps promote Chinese shoe making

Huang Maocai makes homemade shoes with scrap packaging foam in his studio in Wuhan City, the capital of Central China’s Hubei Province. He hopes his work will help others understand the history of Chinese shoe-making.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

ANATA: Ding Shizhong had a dream

Ding Shizhong is a self-made billionaire passionate about shoes. He owns Chinese sportswear giant ANTA. Shizhong dreamt of helping his family's financial burden when he was 1, and began selling shoes his father made at home, In 1994, he started ANTA. Initially sportswear brands benefited from the surge in interest in sports following the 2008 Beijing Olympics but an oversaturation in the local sportswear sector meant there was a critical slowdown in sales. ANTA soldiered on and under the direction of Shizhong crafted a multi-brand strategy to engage a diverse Chinese consumer market. In 2009, the company acquired Fila's loss-making Chinese arm, positioning ANTA label as a high-end sports market outlet in China. Fila revenues have been growing at an average of 40 percent over the past five years. As part of the same strategy the company went into a joint venture with Descente (Japan), which specializes in winter sports equipment and apparel and more acquisitions are in the pipeline.

Among ANTA’s most high profile investments are partnerships with the National Basketball Association (NBA) in China and the Chinese Olympic Committee. The company's endorsement and shoe deal with the Golden State Warriors' Klay Thompson resulted in the development of the point guard's signature and top selling ANTA KT Fire basketball shoes.

ANTA dressed the Chinese national team for the 2016 Rio Olympics.

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Rothy's recyclable shoes:Made in China

Plastic water bottles can be recycled into shoes. The process involves turning the ground-up bottles into recycled filament fibre.

Rothy's is a San Francisco-based startup company which uses a proprietary process to 3D-knit the fibres into seamless, essentially waste-free, shoes and the knitting process takes just six minutes to complete.

A similar approach has been used to make the Nike Flyknit line of trainers, but Nike's shoes are knit in two-dimensions, Rothy's are "knit to shape" in three dimensions and come out of the machine fully formed. Eventually, the process could be used to knit shoes on demand.

In total, the shoe only uses three materials. The upper and insole are made entirely from recycled water bottle filament and attached to a recyclable foam. The sole is made from rubber. The designers spent eight months trying to build a supply chain in the United States, but when it failed they went to China where the shoes are made. The company plan to plan add solar panels to the factory to improve sustainability performance even further.