Update: Chinese netizens vow to buy Chinese brands after domestic sportswear brand Erke's low-profile donation
Published: Jul 23, 2021 01:20 AM
Erke Photo: CFP

Photo: CFP

With many parts of Central China's Henan province suffering from flooding after a heavy rainfall, domestic enterprises are rushing their donations to help with flood relief in the province. Some companies' actions have won the hearts of Chinese consumers.

Chinese netizens were deeply moved by a donation of 50 million yuan ($7.74 million) made by domestic sportswear company Erke for Henan. Impressed by the company's generosity, they vowed to support the company and buy more of its products.

On Wednesday, Erke posted a picture on its Weibo account saying "Henan will make it" and announced the donation of 50 million yuan to Henan. The post had more than 8.6 million likes and 217,000 comments as of Friday, most of them expressing respect for the company's deeds.

Netizens were particularly moved by the fact that Erke is a small and low-profile brand compared with international giants. The 50 million yuan donation is a big sum for the company considering that Erke's business didn't seem to develop very smoothly. The company ranked top in the hot search list on Sina Weibo, China's twitter-like social media platform, on Thursday, one day after its post about donations to Henan on Wednesday.

"It feels like you're going out of business and you donated so much," a netizen called Baibutao said. Her comment ranked top under the topic.

The company's livestream also drew a lot of attention with over 2 million viewers watching the video at the same time on Thursday. Previously, the same livestream had less than 10,000 viewers.

Netizens not only watched the video but also purchased the company's products via livestream to offer their support. The livestream host even pleaded with the audience to buy things in a rational way when many of them said that they were happy to buy the products even with borrowed money.

According to the statistics provided by Chinese ecommerce platform, Erke's sales on Friday witnessed a 52 times jump.

In responding to the great support from netizens, Erke President Wu Rongzhao suddenly showed up in front of the camera to express his appreciation at midnight on Thursday.

"It makes me feel your enthusiasm and warmth. We are very moved. We will continue to do a good job in products and services," said Wu.

While thanking netizens for their support, Wu also urged netizens to consume rationally in the live broadcast.

Wu reveled via his official social media account on Sunday that his company had experienced hardship including flooding, global financial crisis and fire since Erke was founded in 2000. Wu said he shared the same feelings with victims of the flood in Henan. 

Wu stated Erke now has been focused to achieve certain benefits. "The operation is still difficult, but not 'on the verge of bankruptcy,'"said Wu.

Anta, another Chinese sportswear brand, also donated 50 million yuan in cash and aid to the Henan Charity Network. "I have never noticed this brand in my whole life. I am sorry and I promise I will only wear Erke and Anta clothes or shoes in the future when I go out," one netizen wrote. 

Some netizens said there are not many companies like Erke which has a strong sense of social responsibility and called on others to buy more of the company's products. 

Also, netizens said they were particularly touched by the fact that Erke didn't advertise their donation. Some "begged" the company to do more marketing to increase their sales.

Geely Auto, one of China's top three independent car companies, donated 25 million yuan for flood control equipment. The company also pledged to send professional teams to provide technical guidance to local rescue teams.

Geely said it will further expand the donation scale in accordance with the needs of the disaster.

Global Times