NY Times: “China Tries to Solve Its Brand X Blues“:
Mr. Guo and the other Li-Ning executives have big plans for Li-Ning sneakers. Although they are currently serving the domestic market almost exclusively, they want to begin exporting to Europe and the United States — and go toe to toe abroad with Nike and Adidas, as it is currently trying to do in China. Mr. Guo told me the company now generates only 1 percent of its $700 million in revenue abroad; by 2013 — when it hopes to be generating over $2 billion in revenue — it expects 20 percent to come from exports.
But to get there, Li-Ning will have to become a brand like Nike and Adidas. As Chiang Jeongwen, a Chinese marketing professor at the Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business, said, “When you get right down to it, Nike is a branding company”; to compete, Li-Ning would have to become one as well.