Chinese smartphone maker Gionee has been facing a tough time over the past few months. The company has been facing financial woes in China, and if the latest report is to be believed, Gionee is considering filing for bankruptcy. There is also a possibility of liquidation after the company failed to pay financial creditors, marketing firms and about 400 suppliers.
According to a report on Beijing Youth Daily, the total debt is around RMB 17 billion (roughly $2.45 billion). To make matters worse, the company chairman Liu Lirong reportedly lost RMB 10 billion while gambling in a casino. There are other RMB 6 billion that have being misappropriated in other ways. However, Lirong denied losing money, and told Securities Times that the amount is actually a little over RMB 1 billion.
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The meeting to discuss bankruptcy reportedly happened after about 20 major suppliers filed a lawsuit with the Shenzhen People’s Court after Gionee failed to make the payments. Partners already lost trust in the smartphone maker after reports of founder losing money at a rate from 1 to 200 million per month emerged.
In his defense, Lirong reportedly said that the company is his only source of income, and it is “it is inevitable that there will be some public activities, funded by the company”. And while the company is facing these issues, smartphones are still being sold via offline retailers, and online on T-Mall. The Gionee M7 was the most purchased device, according to a report.
The problems in China have also affected the company’s performance in India. Earlier this year, we came across a report stating that Gionee India will likely be acquired by Karbonn Mobile promoter and minority shareholder Vohra. It remains to be seen what happens to the deal now.