Nike has announced its Nike Run Club will be suspended in mainland China from the start of July, making it the latest US company to do so.
The run club app, which has over 8 million members across the country, sent out a notification today. It claimed it will stop providing service and operations on Friday, July 8 due to “business adjustment,” but that data exports would be available.
“Thanks for every run with us!” said the app in the announcement, without giving a reason for the decision.
The company said it plans to provide runners in China with an “enhanced and localized digital solution.”
A company spokesperson said: “We are creating an ecosystem from China for China, specifically catered to the region’s unique consumer needs to serve athletes better.”
The incident occurs as a number of US brands withdraw from the Chinese market due to the country’s strict data privacy laws and increasingly tense ties with the rest of the globe.
Amazon stated last week that its Kindle e-book shop in China would close in July 2023 and that it will no longer provide Kindle devices to merchants.
The company didn’t give a reason for the decision but said its other existing businesses in China will not be affected.
At the same time, Airbnb declared that it will remove all listings in China in order to focus on servicing Chinese travelers going abroad, citing the expenses imposed by covid-19, which has resulted in widespread lockdowns throughout the nation.
While the tough local rivalry is typically identified as one of the key reasons for the firms’ withdrawal, China’s data rules are also highlighted as another likely issue.
For instance, China’s Personal Information Protection Law, which took effect in November of last year, requires processors of personal information, such as enterprises, to comply with one of four primary compliance criteria.
This also comprises having a contract with the outbound recipient of the data in practice often firms themselves or third parties before moving it outside China.
As per analysts, this means that companies must construct IT infrastructure in China that is independent of their worldwide operations in order to comply with the restrictions.
Some companies seem to have taken action in that direction. Last year, LinkedIn shut down its local service in China, citing “a significantly more challenging operating environment” and greater compliance requirements in the country.
The company then launched InJobs, a standalone job application service customized for the country’s users.
Nike is an American multinational corporation that is engaged in the design, development, manufacturing, and worldwide marketing and sales of footwear, apparel, equipment, accessories, and services. The company is headquartered near Beaverton, Oregon, in the Portland metropolitan area.