We have some good news and some bad news about Gionee. The good news is that one day there may be a movie about what happened. The bad news is that the company has officially entered bankruptcy.
A court in Shenzhen has accepted the application for liquidation bankruptcy by Huaxing Bank. This may still turn into a company reorganization – Gionee hired restructuring consultants last week. Founder Liu Lirong thinks that the company can turn its fortunes around in 3-5 years.
However, Gionee owes a total of CNY 20.2 billion (around $3 billion) to 648 creditors. About half of the debt is to banks. Earlier this year the company failed to pay suppliers. Ad agencies haven’t been paid either.
Gionee’s money troubles were exacerbated when Liu – founder and chairman – lost a CNY 1 billion bet in a casino. That’s a whopping $144 million! He claims he didn’t use company money admits he may have “borrowed company funds”. Like we said, this story would make quite a movie.
For comparison, Liu claims that the company was losing around CNY 100 million ($14.4 million) a month between 2013 and 2015. The losses per month doubled in the last two years.