Zhiqiang, the largest football shoe supplier in the world, has announced a surge in revenue of more than RM2 billion, surpassing its annual revenue performance of the past two years. In the first three quarters of 2023, the cumulative revenue has exceeded RM13.7 billion, making it the most direct beneficiary of the FIFA World Cup. Zhiqiang supplies football shoes to major brands such as PUMA, Adidas, Nike, and Decathlon, accounting for 20% of the market share. Chen Weijia, the founder of Zhiqiang, began his journey by opening a shoe store in Ximending, and today his business has production bases in Vietnam and Cambodia. In addition to football shoes, the company produces baseball shoes, American football shoes, and casual shoes. Zhiqiang’s market value as of May 2, 2023, stands at a whopping RM1.96 billion.
Chen Weijia’s mother played a significant role in helping him establish Zhiqiang. After his father passed away, Chen Weijia and his mother had a disagreement over the family business. At the age of 24, his mother lent him RM3000 with a 10% interest rate to help him start his own business. After opening a shoe store in Ximending, Chen Weijia’s entrepreneurial journey began. He considered making tires and sanitary napkins but finally found his calling in the sports shoe industry. Zhiqiang’s first factory was set up in Vietnam in 1992, and the company started manufacturing football shoes for brands like Lotto and Adidas. Today, Zhiqiang has become the go-to supplier for football shoes to major sports brands, making it the largest football shoe supplier in the world.
Zhiqiang’s success has been attributed to Chen Weijia’s vision, dedication, and his ability to spot opportunities in the market. He expanded his business by running international exhibitions, receiving orders for canvas shoes, and eventually establishing a factory in Vietnam. Zhiqiang’s success has not only transformed Chen Weijia’s life but has also played a significant role in the sports industry by making quality football shoes more accessible to the masses.
As Zhiqiang continues to expand its production base and supply football shoes to major sports brands, its market value is set to increase further. Chen Weijia’s entrepreneurial journey serves as an inspiration to many aspiring entrepreneurs who want to build their own business empire.