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  • Writer's pictureDenis Green

China Sports Business Weekly | 20th January

Hello Industry Friends, from everyone at Mailman, we’d like to wish you all a Happy & Prosperous Chinese New Year of the Rabbit. Here is the very latest news and insights from China. 📰 Headlines: Shanghai announces packed sporting schedule for 2023, Australian Open highlights China’s tennis growth, NBA and Migu donate courts for CNY, Winter Olympics legacies drive sports boom, China 2023 trend predictions, and the latest on the NetEase vs. Activision Blizzard situation.


🗞️ Top Industry News Shanghai Set for Packed 2023 Sports Schedule After almost three years of cancellations and postponements due to Covid-19 and strict quarantine measures, China is finally open and Shanghai is ready for a bumper 2023. Although Shanghai’s hopes of hosting the Chinese Grand Prix this year ended as Formula 1 confirmed its 2023 calendar, returning events will include Masters tennis and snooker tournaments. Read more on SportBusiness (English) and Ifeng (Chinese) 💡Mailman Take: The news we’ve all been waiting for. After years of countless cancellations and postponements, it finally looks like live sport will be returning to the mega-city of Shanghai. As well as Shanghai, dozens of other cities around China will welcome the return of international events, with fans in stadiums, breathing life back into the industry. Though it’s a shame Formula 1 won’t make the cut this year. At the Australian Open, Jerry Shang Leads Wave of Talent From China The ongoing Australia Open is set to be a big one for China. Jerry Shang, once the world’s top-ranked junior, Wu Yibing, and Zhang Zhizhen are in Melbourne, the first time three men from China are competing at a Grand Slam in the Open era. At the start of the AO, seven Chinese female tennis players were also competing in the tournament. Read more on NYT (English) and Global Times (Chinese) NBA and Migu Donate Community Basketball Courts NBA and China Mobile’s Migu recently celebrated the Chinese New Year by hosting a community event at a jointly-donated basketball court in Xiamen. As part of the donation and celebration, both sides announced to donate and build public welfare basketball courts in Heilongjiang, Fujian, Guizhou, Yunnan, Guangxi, and other places to promote the development of basketball culture. Read more on Ecosports (Chinese)


Legacies of Winter Olympics Drive Sports Boom in China The Beijing Winter Olympics has been fueling a seasonal sports boom in China. Since the Games opened on Feb 4, Chinese organisers have fully realised their ambitions to capitalise on the strong appeal of the events, evidenced by busy scenes at winter sports venues nationwide ahead of Spring Festival. Most of the official Beijing 2022 competition venues reopened to the public at the end of last year. Read more on Asia News (English) and Sports Money (Chinese) Adidas Unites Football Fever and Chinese Calligraphy Ahead of CNY Adidas was joined by global football icons to reveal a New Year series dedicated to the Chinese market. Drawing inspiration from Chinese calligraphy, the New Year edition has been readapted into a toy collectible series in collaboration with a designer toy brand that specialises in featuring sports personalities to enhance its appeal to young consumers. Read more on DAO (English) and NetEase (Chinese) Two Senior CFA Officials Under Investigation Two senior officials of the Chinese Football Association (CFA) are under investigation, said China's top anti-graft watchdog. Chen Yongliang, executive deputy secretary-general of the Chinese Football Association, and Liu Yi, CFA's former secretary-general, are both under investigation for a suspected severe violation of the law. Read more on China Daily (English) Shanghai Returns to Archery World Cup Calendar World Archery has announced that Shanghai will return to take its regular position on the Archery World Cup calendar. Prior to the outbreak of Covid-19, Shanghai had been a mainstay of the World Cup circuit from its formation in 2006 through to 2019. Read more on SportBusiness (English) and (Chinese)


🤔 Opinion Lancôme Joins Kuaishou to Unlock Chinese Women Who Love Football Gen Z and Millennial females in China showed a comparable level of enthusiasm for football as their male counterparts during the recent FIFA World Cup. Teaming up with Chinese short video giant Kuaishou, Lancôme introduced a female-focused talk show, tapping into the football sensation through the lens of women. Showing a deep understanding of its target audience, Lancôme’s campaign drew in over 800 million views on Kuaishou. Read more on DAO (English) China Trend Predictions 2023 At Mailman, we've put our heads together to come up with the key trends we predict will have the biggest impact on China in 2023. From the year of women’s sport to Chinese brands looking overseas, we analyse what’s going to be hot in the Year of the rabbit. Read the full list on Mailman (English)


🎮 Esports NetEase vs. Activision Blizzard: Why NetEase Had to Refuse a Six-Month Extension U.S. game publisher Activision Blizzard announced that its Chinese distributor NetEase had refused a proposal to extend their 14-year long-term partnership deal for another six months as it seeks to find an alternative distribution partner in China. Read more on Esports Advocate (English) and The Paper (Chinese) China Gaming Crackdown: Sales Shrink for First Time in Two Decades Amid Regulatory Pressure The decline marks the first drop in game sales in China since figures became available in 2003. Challenges include limited R&D activities, tighter recruitment market, weak investment confidence and declining consumer expenditure. Read more on SCMP (English) and Tencent (Chinese)


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