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Anta Sports & Li-Ning rival Nike & Adidas for sportswear sales in China, but are virtually unknown

Chinese consumers have turned to domestic sports apparel brands Anta Sports and Li-Ning amid a boycott of foreign brands that had announced they would cease using cotton from China’s Xinjiang region over concerns about the possible use of forced labour in its production.

As the leading domestic sportswear brands, Anta Sports and Li-Ning had 15.4 per cent and 6.7 per cent shares respectively of China’s sportswear and athleisure market, according to Euromonitor International, a market research provider. They trailed only Adidas, which has 17.4 per cent of the market, and Nike with 25.6 per cent.

Anta Sports had footwear and apparel sales in China of 34.4 billion yuan (US$5.3 billion) and Li-Ning 13.7 billion in 2020.

Yet while both are ubiquitous in China, they are virtually unheard of beyond its borders – Anta Sports did not report any stores outside mainland China in its 2020 annual report, and only 1.5 per cent of Li-Ning’s revenue last year came from outside the country.



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