A Chinese sportswear firm sued by Michael Jordan over unauthorised use of his name has countersued the retired NBA superstar for $8 million for hurting its reputation, state media said on Wednesday.
Jordan's original lawsuit against Qiaodan last year alleged the firm deliberately misled Chinese consumers about its ties to the six-time NBA champion. Jordan said he was taking action to preserve ownership of his name and brand.
Jordan has been known in China by the Chinese name "Qiaodan" since he became a global basketball star in the 1980s.
Qiaodan's products also carry a silhouette of a leaping basketball player, which bears a resemblance to the "Jumpman" logo used by US sporting goods giant Nike's Jordan brand. Qiaodan Sports Co. Ltd., which sells apparel and shoes, said Jordan misled the public and its customers with his lawsuit, the China Daily newspaper said.
The company filed the suit at a court in the city of Quanzhou, near its headquarters in the southeastern province of Fujian, it said.
Qiaodan could not immediately be reached for comment on Wednesday.
A Shanghai court accepted Jordan's case last year, but has yet to announce a decision, the China Daily said.
The sports star had demanded 50 million yuan ($8 million) in compensation, China's International Financial News said in a separate report.
Jordan led the Chicago Bulls to six NBA titles in the 1990s and sparked the 1992 Barcelona Olympic US "Dream Team" to gold.