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Old 03-12-2018, 09:30 PM   #1
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Svetlana Kuznetsova has a different look than most tennis players. And it's not just all the tattoos.

In a tennis world dominated by the bright colors of Nike and Adidas puma suede rose pale , as well as new fashion entrants like Uniqlo, Kuznetsova has taken a risk with her clothing sponsor a Chinese company called Qiaodan which has been at the center of a high-profile trademark dispute.

As Chinese sportswear companies seek to grow their brands in a crowded domestic marketplace, they've spent years chasing big-name foreign athletes with lucrative sponsorship deals, namely basketball players.

  Russia's Svetlana Kuznetsova makes a forehand return to Serbia's Jelena Jankovic during their third round match at the Australian Open tennis championships in Melbourne, Australia puma suede rose , Friday, Jan. 20, 2017. (AP PhotoKin Cheung)

Li Ning started the trend by signing Shaquille O'Neal in 2006 and now has Dwyane Wade of the Chicago Bulls on its roster. The Chinese sportswear brand Anta, meanwhile, has signed Klay Thompson of the Golden State Warriors puma suede gris femme , and Peak sponsors Dwight Howard of the Atlanta Hawks.

But in tennis, Chinese companies have made fewer inroads, especially among top players. One exception is Kuznetsova's deal with Qiaodan, which began in 2013 when the Russian player's agent received an offer from an unfamiliar brand.

"I said, 'What's the company'? And he didn't remember the name puma suede bleu marine ," Kuznetsova said after her third-round win over Jelena Jankovic at the Australian Open on Friday. "I said, 'OK, let them send me some samples to see.' I cannot sign with somebody who I have no idea, to see what quality, because I want to look good."

When the samples arrived puma suede rouge , she was impressed the company had made a special logo for her her initials with a butterfly.

The two-time Grand Slam titlist was coming off an injury-plagued year and her ranking had dipped outside the top 70. And the butterfly was meant to symbolize a rebirth Qiaodan's belief that she'd revive her career.

"I thought it's really special and they will ... treat me special," she said.

Kuznetsova may not at the time have heard of Qiaodan, but the company was well known to a certain basketball legend Michael Jordan.

In 2012, Jordan filed suit against Qiaodan over a trademark dispute, claiming the company had profited from using the Mandarin transliteration of his name. Jordan has been known by the Chinese characters for "Qiaodan" since he gained popularity in the mid-1980s.

In a surprise verdict puma suede blanche pas cher , China's highest court partially sided with Jordan last month, saying he owns the rights to the Chinese characters for Qiaodan. The company, however, was permitted to use the Romanized spelling of the name.

In a statement after the ruling, the company defended its actions but said it would respect the court's decision.

The case now closed puma suede blanche , Qiaodan is refocusing its attention on its domestic business and Kuznetsova, its most high-profile foreign athlete.

One perk of the partnership, Kuznetsova said, is she can collaborate with Qiaodan's designers on the outfits she wears on court.

"She will tell us she wants some kind of design and also the colors and materials," Vivienne Wang puma suede noir femme , a sports marketing sponsorship supervisor at the company, said by telephone from China. "We'll also have some special designs T-shirts for her fans, coaches and family."

Some designs are more successful than others, such as the one she's wearing at the Australian Open, a gray and yellow outfit with rows of small holes cut in the skirt. But to Kuznetsova puma suede noir , what's important is she looks like no none of the other players.

"I love the collection for this year," she said.

PANAMA CITY, Aug. 23 (Xinhua) -- Experts on small and medium-enterprises (SMEs) agreed Tuesday that a lack of productivity was the major weakness facing such companies in Latin America.

During a meeting held to hear the results of a sweeping investigation into the state of SMEs in the region, named Simapro, it was announced that 95 to 97 percent of economic entities in Latin America are SMEs. However, they are held back from fulfilling their potential due to a breach in productivity and informality.

Maria Dolores Correa, general director of the Simapro project, said this often led SMEs to close as they are unable to withstand market pressures. Furthermore, she estimated that SMEs in the region were only half as productive as their larger counterparts.

The Simapro project was organized by iCam Group, a Mexican company which has worked to develop SMEs in Latin America for 14 years. Simapro also helps to train SMEs on improving productivity, work conditions, sustainability, and skills.

Correa advised that SMEs all too often do not have the know-how to run their businesses, and that specific actions are needed to help them structure themselves better and access key indicators.

In order to change this situation, Correa announced that iCam would be allying itself with ConnecTAmericas, a financing platform for SMEs financed by the Inter-American Development Bank.

"They have a deep interest in working with companies which have graduated from Simapro," she stated.

Correa said that, out of 20 Panamanian SMEs engaged in Simapro, 19 had graduated and shown clear results in improving their productivity and working conditions.

"The results have shown the positive financial impact of our project, generating additional income and savings for these companies of over 200,000 U.S. dollars," she concluded.

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China and Saudi Arabia are eyeing deeper energy cooperation as Saudi Arabia's Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman prepares to visit China.

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