This Chinese smartphone company is bankrupt after chairman lost $144 million in gambling

This Chinese smartphone company is bankrupt after chairman lost $144 million in gamblingThis Chinese smartphone company is bankrupt after chairman lost $144 million in gamblingDebashis Sarkar Chinese smartphone brand Gionee has officially filed for bankruptcy. Gionee founder and chairman Liu Lirong recently lost $144 million in gambling. | TOI-Online | Dec 20, 2018, 03:39PM IST

Chinese smartphone brand Gionee has officially filed for bankruptcy. Shenzhen Intermediate People’s Court has accepted the “bankruptcy liquidation application” according to a by Chinese news website Phoenix Network Financial News. The company was already into a “debt crisis” since December last year and as of August 2018, the total debt was about “20.2 billion yuan and 648 creditors”. Gionee founder and chairman Liu Lirong claimed that the company was “losing around CNY 100 million ($14.4 million) per month between 2013 and 2015”. However, recently, it was revealed that Lirong’s notorious gambling habits have taken a toll on the company.

Gionee chairman Lirong reportedly “lost over 10 billion yuan ($1.4 billion) while gambling recently at a casino in Saipan.” However, later the chairman admitted that “he had lost over one billion yuan ($144-million).” Earlier it was reported that the company reportedly failed to pay suppliers and was looking at working separate deals. “Nearly 20 suppliers submitted an application for bankruptcy and reorganisation of Jinli to Shenzhen Intermediate People’s Court after a few months of debt collection on November 20,” according to Chinese website Jiemian. Interestingly, when Lirong’s gambling habit made headlines, he claimed that he did no use Gionee’s money to gamble but admitted to may have “borrowed company funds.” Apart from suppliers, Gionee reportedly hasn’t paid ad-agencies either.

Earlier this year, there were reports that Gionee had plans to invest around Rs 650 crore in 2018 in India as it was aiming to be among the top five smartphone brands in the country. However, it seems Gionee would have to go back to the drawing board to think about is revival plans. Lirong hasn’t given up all hopes and expects to reportedly turn around the company’s fate in the next five years.