FC Barcelona is suing Suning Commerce Group in Hong Kong for breach of contract, seeking compensation of more than RMB4 million (HK$5 million), Ming Pao reported.

The football club is also seeking interest payment of about RMB139,000 (HK$164,000) from Suning. The details of the alleged breach are unknown.

Suning became FC Barcelona’s first Chinese sponsor in 2014, signing a three-year sponsorship deal. The shares of the Chinese company surged when the announcement was made.

Antoni Rossich with representatives of Suning after presenting the agreement. Photo: FC Barcelona.

“More than a mere sponsorship agreement, however, it is a strategic partnership that also involves a series of social and sporting projects,” Barcelona’s website says. However, EJI reported that “only one [area] has something to do with the future of Chinese football.”

Suning Commerce Group is a privately-owned company founded in 1990 and headquartered in China. It owns the Hong Kong chain store, Hongkong Suning Commerce Co, which sells electronic products and home appliances.

FC Barcelona is the second most valuable football team in the world, after La Liga rival Real Madrid, according to Forbes soccer team valuations. It won the Spanish league, the Spanish cup and the Champions League last year.

Hermina Wong

Hermina is a Hong Kong writer and journalist. She graduated with a degree in politics from Cambridge, and is interested in international affairs, particularly those related to China, the EU and the Middle East. She also enjoys political satire.