By Michelle Toh, CNN Business
Nike is deactivating its Run Club app in China, becoming the latest Western company to reconfigure its business in the world’s second largest economy.
The US sportswear giant posted a notice to runners in mainland China, saying the app will “cease service and operation” there starting July 8.
In a statement to CNN Business, a Nike spokesperson said that it would roll out a “localized” platform for Chinese runners in future, and continue to invest in updating its digital platforms in China.
“We are creating an ecosystem from China for China, specifically catered to the region’s unique consumer needs,” the representative said.
China is one of Nike’s top markets. The company made nearly $8.3 billion in revenue in Greater China, which includes Hong Kong and Taiwan, in the last fiscal year, according to its most recent annual report. That was more than its sales in the rest of Asia Pacific and Latin America combined.
China is also a key manufacturing hub for the brand, with about a fifth of Nike’s footwear and apparel being made there.
Nike Run Club, which allows users to track their runs and perform challenges with friends, has more than 8 million users in China who have collectively covered more than 600 million kilometers (nearly 373 million miles), according to a company statement on the app.
Local users will be able to export their fitness data, Nike said.
The move is the latest in a series of changes big Western companies have made to their businesses in mainland China in recent months. Last week, Amazon announced the closure of its Kindle bookstore in the country, as well as the discontinuation of Kindle device sales to retailers.
This summer, Airbnb (ABNB) will take down all its listings in the country and concentrate instead on outbound travelers. The company made the decision because of mounting costs that were worsened by Covid-19.
Last October, LinkedIn said that it would shut down the local version of its platform in China, citing a “significantly more challenging operating environment” and compliance hurdles.
The platform, which is owned by Microsoft, has decided to introduce an all-new, even more localized service, called InJobs.
— CNN’s Beijing bureau contributed to this report.
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