Luo Yonghao, the founder of China’s smartphone maker Smartisan Technology, has been prohibited from making non-essential purchases due to the company’s failure to comply with court rulings from a contractual dispute, according to local Chinese media.
As stipulated by a local court in the city of Danyang, Jiangsu, Luo has been legally barred from purchasing luxury items and services that are considered non-essential including buying plane and train tickets that are above 2nd class, spending money on higher quality hotels, night clubs and golf clubs, buying properties and high-premium insurance and sending his children to expensive private schools.
The flamboyant founder has amassed a favorable reputation in China due to his charismatic and self-mocking approach to presentation during Smartisan’s product launches.
Smartisan is a niche player in the massive smartphone industry of China. Compared to local giants such as Huawei, Xiaomi and OPPO, the company occupies a relatively small portion of the market. Smartisan launched on November 31 its new phone, the Nut Pro 3, making it the first flagship to be launched by the brand after it was largely assimilated by TikTok owner ByteDance.
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Luo, in a statement posted on the micro-blogging social media platform Weibo, apologized to his creditors and investors, and promised to pay off all of his debt in the future.
“I will continue to work hard to pay back the debts incurred in the future. Even if the company is declared force majeure as having gone bankrupt, I will personally pay back all the debts as an artist,” Luo said in his statement. “If Mark Twain and Shi Yuzhu could do it, so can I.”
The company used to owe as much as 600 million yuan as business deteriorated since last year, but managed to return 300 million yuan during the past 10 months, said Luo.
Chen Guoying, director of the People’s Court of Danyang, praised Luo’s conduct and stressed that as a public figure, one should set a good example of maintaining public integrity.
Chen told Chinese media that the “consumption restriction” issued by the court was a ruling made in accordance with legal procedures and was not targeted at Luo personally as a public figure.