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June 9, 2022, 05.39 PM - Nike says it will discontinue its popular Nike Run Club app in China from July, in the latest reassessment by a US brand of its offerings to the Chinese market.

The world’s largest sportswear maker announced to its mainland China users through the app on Wednesday, June 8, and thanked them for their support.

It did not give a reason for the decision but a company spokesperson told Reuters that it planned to provide Chinese runners with an "enhanced and localized solution in the future".

The app, which is offered by Nike, Inc in several countries, allows users to track their runs and challenge friends to compete.

"Thanks for every run together with us!" Nike said in a statement.

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"It's with sadness that NRC APP will cease service and operation in your market from July 8."

Nike told Reuters that it was continuing to invest in its Nike Sports Marketplace in China.

"We are creating an ecosystem from China for China, specifically catered to the region’s unique consumer needs to serve athletes better," the company spokesperson said.

"We will continue to serve Chinese runners with an enhanced and localized digital solution in the future."

Posts on the closing of the NRC app gathered more than 70,000 views on the Weibo social media platform, with many users sad to see the end of the service.

"I've been using the app for seven years, and it will discontinue like this," said one user.

"Every step I have run was recorded here," another Weibo user said, ending the post with three tearful emojis.

New tech laws see US companies fleeing Chinese market

Multiple US tech brands have ceased to offer or reduced services to users in mainland China in the past year, citing reasons from censorship to increasing compliance requirements.

China has put new curbs on internet companies in areas such as content and has also imposed new laws, such as one on personal information protection designed to protect users' data privacy.

In November last year, Yahoo pulled its services from China, citing an "increasingly challenging" operating environment.

A month prior, Microsoft pulled the plug on LinkedIn in China, marking the retreat of the last major US-owned social network in China.

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LinkedIn cited a "more challenging operating environment and greater compliance requirements in China".

The departures illustrate the choices companies face in a hugely profitable market, but one where they are required to censor content as China tightens its control on the industry.

Sources: ABC, Reuters

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Source ABC

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