NBA great and Charlotte Bobcats owner Michael Jordan announced Wednesday he was suing a Chinese sportswear and shoe manufacturer for unauthorized use of his name.
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According to the lawsuit, the company’s name, "Qiaodan," is the moniker Jordan has been known by in China since he gained widespread popularity in the mid-1980s.
"A Chinese sports company has chosen to build a Chinese business off of my Chinese name without my permission," Jordan explained in a video message on his website.
"It pains me to see someone misrepresent my identity. I have no other choice but to turn to the courts."
Jordan said the lawsuit was not about money, but about "principle and protecting my name."
"Any monetary awards I might receive will be invested in growing the sport of basketball in China," he added.
The suit claims that Qiaodan’s use of Jordan’s name and its marketing tactics have misled Chinese consumers.
It says that a Shanghai sports product marketing company conducted a survey involving 400 respondents in 2009, and it found that 90 percent of young people in China’s small cities believed Qiaodan Sports was Jordan’s own brand in China.