Gionee, one of the popular mobile phone brands, is on the verge of bankruptcy after Gionee chairman Liu Lirong reportedly lost around $144 million in gambling. The company has even failed to pay its suppliers and has asked them to work out a deal. 20 suppliers had also filed for bankruptcy reorganisation with the Shenzhen Intermediate People's Court, said reports.
Gionee chairman Liu Lirong has admitted to the gambling tragedy but said in his defense that he has not used Gionee's funds for any personal use. However, he added that he did borrow from the company's funds but did not specify the amount.
Only in April this year, Gionee had said that it plans to invest around Rs 650 crore this year in India as it looks to be among the top five smartphone brands in the country. The company had at one point signed Indian Cricket team captain Virat Kohli and Bollywood star Alia Bhatt as its brand ambassador. It also brought on board Baahubali star Prabhas as brand ambassador in India.
"We will increase marketing spend this year by approximately 30 per cent compared to investment made last year. Our strategy is around capturing 20 per cent share in smartphones prices in the range of Rs 8000-20,000,” Gionee India National Sales Director Alok Shrivastava had told news agency PTI while talking at a company event.