This smartphone brand is going bankrupt because the chairman just lost $144m at a casino

Wait what? Hold on to your horses, while I deliver to you the most bizzare news I’ve heard in a long time. Gionee, yes, that Chinese company that you might have forgotten, is back in the news. And its for the most stupid reason. 

Gionee failed to pay suppliers

As reported by the Securities Times, Gionee has failed to pay its suppliers. The company has now met up with them to work on a different deal. This comes after 20 suppliers filed an application for bankruptcy reorganization with the Shenzhen Intermediate People’s Court on November 20.

But that’s not the bizzare part. That comes now, when you’d ask where did the money go. See, the answer to that is two-fold. One part being that Gionee saw a steep drop in worldwide shipments in Q2 2018. However, the second reason is what the headline is all about.

Chairman sits in the hot seat, loses out a tub of money

Gionee’s chairman, Liu Lirong, reportedly went out and gambled with a lot of money, that was supposedly the company’s funds. As reported by Jiemian, Liu lost over ten billion yuan ($1.4-billion) while gambling at a casino in Saipan. However, in an official statement issued later on, Liu stated that he had lost only one billion yuan ($144-million).

According to him, he didn’t misappropriate Gionee’s cash to gamble. However, he does suggest that he may have been “borrowing company funds.” 

Shorcut to quick fortune?

Honestly, I feel that the chairman might have resorted to gambling as the only way to turn things around for the company. Let’s be realistic. Gionee has lost a substantial amount of market share, both offline and online. Its shipments have reduced and they are just not able to keep up with the pace with which the market has been evolving. From the chairman’s perspective, had he been able to win something at gambling, he probably could have called it “money well spent”. Sadly though, things did not quite turn out that way, and now he finds himself, and the company, on the verge of bankruptcy. 

Well, what do you make of this all? Make sure to leave your thoughts in the comments below.

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Varun Mirchandani
varun.mirchandani@u2opiamobile.com

Varun is your go-to guy for everything related to technology. Someone with a keen interest in the Android world, he installs a new custom ROM every week and is always living on the bleeding edge of technology. When not writing for Mr. Phone, you can find him gaming on his beastly gaming rig which is also his prized possession.