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Chinese Sportswear Giant Taps $129 Million Funding for Global Push

Inside a Saucony Inc. shoe store, a brand owned by Xtep International Holdings Ltd., in Shanghai, China. Getty Images.
Inside a Saucony Inc. shoe store, a brand owned by Xtep International Holdings Ltd., in Shanghai, China. Getty Images. (Bloomberg)

Sportswear manufacturing group Xstep International will receive a HKD $1 billion ($129.4 million) capital infusion from private equity firm Hillhouse Capital, which will go towards promoting its foreign brands including K-Swiss and Palladium internationally, SCMP reports.

Last year, Xtep’s profit dropped 30 percent on the back of the pandemic and growing competition from homegrown rivals Anta Sports and Li Ning, both of which have grown in popularity domestically after global players like Nike and Adidas denounced the use of Xinjiang cotton, drawing backlash in mainland China.

While all three firms are listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, both Anta Sports’ and Li Ning’s market capitalisations have grown at least 30 percent this year; the firms are worth HKD $435.8 billion ($56.1 billion) and HKD $190.2 billion ($24.5) respectively, while Xstep lags behind at HKD $29.9 billion ($3.9 billion).

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