10 Things You Didn’t Know About Ding Shizhong

The world of the sports goods industry and a journey into corporate life brings us closer to the life of Ding Shizhong. Chairperson and CEO of one of China’s leading sportswear companies, ANTA Sports Products Limited, Ding Shizhong has a story that is both inspiring and enlightening. Read on to discover ten things you didn’t know about this formidable figure.

1. Started from Humble Beginnings

Ding Shizhong may run a multi-billion dollar company today, but his roots are surprisingly humble. Born into a middle-class family in Fujian, China, success didn’t fall onto his lap; he worked tirelessly for it. Starting from a small trading company with his siblings, Shizhong has proven that big dreams and hard work pay off.

This small trading company eventually developed into Anta Sports, which now stands proud as one of China’s most significant sports brands. In 2020, it even overtook Adidas to become the third largest sports brand in the world.

2. Sports Lover

It’s often said that one should venture into a business they know and love. For Shizhong, this was sports. From a young age, Shizhong was a keen sports enthusiast, with basketball being his number one passion. Using his passion for sports, he turned something he loved into a successful business.

Anta Sports reflects his passion as it is now a top producer of sporting goods, including apparel, shoes, and equipment. It has even collaborated with popular NBA players and other famous athletes, embodying Shizhong’s love for sports within its brand.

3. Acquisition Savvy

One of the most striking aspects of Ding Shizhong’s business prowess is his fantastic ability for strategic acquisitions. He has played instrumental roles in Anta’s acquisition of several global sports brands like Fila, Descente, and Salomon.

This strategy has not only bolstered the image of ANTA but has also diversified its product range while expanding its foreign market share. Shizhong’s aptitude in making strategic acquisitions has played a significant part in Anta’s rise to global prominence.

4. Work Ethics

Hard work, resilience and determination underpin Ding Shizhong’s work ethics. He believes that nothing can replace hard work when it comes to growing and developing a business. His leadership has driven Anta Sports to reach new heights and set new benchmarks in the industry.

This can be seen through the company’s revolutionary product development and design, as his commitment towards perfection has reflected in the quality and innovation of Anta’s products.

5. Philanthropy

Ding Shizhong isn’t just about work and business; he’s also deeply committed towards giving back to society. The Anta Charity Foundation, initiated by him, works towards the betterment of rural education and public welfare in China. More than a businessman, Shizhong is a humanitarian at heart.

Under his leadership, the Anta Charity Foundation has notably funded the construction of over 50 ‘Hope Primary Schools’ in China and has supported several public welfare campaigns.

6. Market Innovation

Shizhong realized very early in his career that innovation and adaptation are the keys to survive in the ever-changing market. Recognizing China’s potential as an emerging market in the sports industry, he pioneered making sports goods accessible and affordable to the masses.

His innovative approach towards designing and building eco-friendly stores has seen ANTA stores pop up across major cities and rural towns of China. The emphasis on market innovation has solidified ANTA’s position in the Chinese sports goods market.

7. Awards and Accolades

The hard work Ding Shizhong has put into Anta’s success has not gone unnoticed. He has received numerous awards and accolades for his work. “China’s Best CEO”, awarded by Forbes, and “Entrepreneur of the Year”, by Ernst and Young, are just a few of the honors bestowed upon him.

Moreover, under his leadership, Anta has been named “Brand of the Year” by Sports Goods Industry, further proving his outstanding leadership and business acumen.

8. Advocate for Sustainability

Shizhong is a firm advocate for sustainability. ANTA was one of the first brands in China to start using eco-friendly materials and processes in the manufacturing of its products. His belief that businesses have a moral responsibility towards the environment has led to multiple sustainability initiatives.

Involving efficient use of resources and green manufacturing processes, his approach has influenced an industry-wide shift towards sustainable practices, inspiring countless other brands to follow suit.

9. Embracing Technology

Ding Shizhong understands the importance of technology in the modern world and has made sure that Anta rides on the waves of digital transformation. Incorporating technology into its products, customer service, and supply chain management has allowed Anta to stay ahead of the curve in the industry.

His future-focused mindset has led him to invest heavily in R&D and embrace technologies such as Big Data and AI to streamline operations and upgrade consumer experience.

10. Growth Mindset

Despite the heights Ding Shizhong has reached, he remains rooted in a growth mindset. His philosophy is that one’s development only stops when one stops learning. Shizhong always looks forward to new opportunities for personal and professional development.

It is this growth mindset that ensures that despite all the success, Shizhong never rests on his laurels but continues to push forward, aiming for more significant success.

Learn More about ANTA | Ding Shizhong on Forbes | ANTA CSR Activities