China firm to refund $12 million after France World Cup win

China

A Chinese kitchen appliance maker is paying out up to 79 million yuan ($12 million) in refunds to its customers.

The company vowed last month that it would do so if France won the football World Cup competition.

Vatti Corp Ltd, based in China’s south-eastern province of Guangdong, said early on Monday on its official Weibo account that it would honour its pledge.

It also issued instructions on how customers could claim their refund.

The company is an official sponsor of the French national football team.

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It had offered the deal to buyers of its “championship package” – which is valued up to 16,100 yuan and includes gas stoves, water heaters and dishwashers.

The promo lasted from June 1 to July 3 as part of a marketing campaign.

France won the World Cup for the second time on Sunday, beating Croatia 4-2.

“Fees incurred are within our annual budget and will not have a significant impact on our distribution system and profit,” Vatti said in a statement on July 4 ahead of France’s quarter-final match.

The firm’s stock jumped by close to its 10 per cent daily limit on Monday after a steady decline shortly before the promo.

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Vatti’s refund situation was one of the most frequently mentioned topics on Weibo on Monday.

Users are commenting that the publicity the relatively unknown company was receiving was worth far more than the amount it had to pay in refunds.

This is the most successful marketing campaign. Almost all media outlets were giving them free exposure after France won,” said one Weibo user.


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