FILE PHOTO: Luo Yonghao, CEO and founder of Chinese smartphone startup Smartisan, launches a new instant messaging app Bullet Messenger during a launch event in Beijing, August 20, 201
BEIJING (Reuters) – Founder of China's Smart Pro Smartisan Technology has been banned from taking aircraft and high-speed rail trains due to the company's non-compliance with court decisions from a contractual dispute, a local court document shows.
Smartisan is a niche player in China's smartphone industry and is best known for its flamboyant founder Luo Yonghao, who made headlines in recent years with bold statements, including claims that he planned to acquire Apple.
Luo is also banned from spending at higher quality hotels, nightclubs and golf clubs, buying real estate and high-premium insurance and sending the children to expensive private schools, according to an order issued by the court to Danyang in eastern China.
The order was issued after the court found the company failed to comply with previous court decisions from a contract dispute with a local electronic company, the document states.
Smartisan's smartphone sales in China depend on players like Huawei, Xiaomi and Oppo. Chinese social media company ByteDance previously said it developed a phone with Smartisan after acquiring a set of patents from it.
Smartisan launched a new phone on Thursday. In a video posted on the official Weibo account, Smartisan Chief Operating Officer Wu Dezhou said that most of the Smartisan team had moved to ByteDance after the deal to work with smartphones and educational hardware, but that Luo had left the team for personal reasons .
Neither Luo nor Smartisan could be reached immediately by Reuters for comment.
Reporting by Stella Qiu and Brenda Goh; Additional reporting by Roxanne Liu and Sophie Yu; Editing by Peter Graff