Nike Inc (NYSE:NKE), the world’s largest sportswear manufacturer, is terminating its famous Nike Run Club (NRC) App in China beginning in July, the firm announced on Wednesday. This is the latest reevaluation by an American brand of its services to the Chinese market.
Wednesday morning, the U.S. sportswear giant made the statement to its mainland China app users and thanked them for their support.
A corporate spokeswoman told Reuters that the company hoped to provide Chinese runners with a “improved and localized solution” in the future, but did not explain a reason for the move.
Nike offers the app in multiple countries, allowing users to track their runs and challenge their friends to competitions. It has more than 8 million members in China, the most profitable market for the company.
Nike issued a statement saying, “Thank you for every run with us!”
“With regret, NRC APP will discontinue service and operations in your market on July 8.”
Nike informed Reuters that it continued to invest in its Nike Sport Marketplace in China.
“We are establishing an ecosystem from China for China that is uniquely tailored to the region’s unique consumer needs in order to better support athletes,” stated a representative of the company.
In the future, we will continue to provide Chinese runners with an improved and specialized digital solution.
Other U.S. digital giants, like Linkedin and Yahoo, have quit offering or curtailed services to mainland Chinese consumers in the past year, claiming censorship and increased compliance requirements as the reasons.
China has imposed new restrictions on internet firms in areas such as content and has also enacted new regulations, such as one aimed to protect the privacy of users’ data.
On the Weibo (NASDAQ:WB) social media site, posts on the demise of the NRC app garnered more than 70,000 views, with many users lamenting the end of the service.
One user stated, “I’ve been using the app for seven years, and it will be discontinued in this manner.”
Another Weibo user remarked, with three teary-eyed emojis at the end of the post, “Every stride I’ve ever run was documented here.”