Nike Supplier’s Wealth Gains Despite Supply Chain Disruption


This story is part of Forbes’ coverage of China’s Richest 2021. See the full list here.

As widespread supply chain bottlenecks disrupt global business, China’s overall success in controlling the spread of Covid-19 infections helped to insulate the fallout for Ma Jianrong. The textile exporter’s fortune rose to $12.7 billion this year from $11.2 billion last year. 

Ma, 57, chairs Shenzhou International Group of Ningbo, which counts Nike and Uniqlo as top customers. Garments and textiles are big business for China. Exports totaled $140 billion in the first six months of this year alone. Facing higher wages at home and uncertain trade policy in the U.S., the company has accelerated its overseas investments. Shenzhou International added a new $150 million plant in Cambodia this year, furthering its Southeast Asia presence that also includes Vietnam; combined it has 40,000 employees in the two countries. 

That all went well until Covid-19 hit. Garment plants in Cambodia were closed in April and May; Vietnam production was disrupted in the third quarter. Yet Shenzhou International has kept its overall business growing—first-half revenue and net profit each climbed 11% to 11.4 billion yuan ($1.8 billion) and 2.2 billion yuan, respectively, from a year earlier. Production lost abroad was offset by a 30% increase in garment output at home, driven by new hiring, increased efficiency and China’s curbing of the pandemic.



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