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  • Writer's pictureDenis Green

China Sports Business Weekly | 20th October

Hello Industry Friends, here is the very latest news and insights from China. 📰 Headlines: Inter Miami heads to China, Warriors top NBA Red Card rankings, Rolex Shanghai Masters returns in style, Zheng Qinwen savours second title, China names new CFA chairman, Formula E races return next year, Anta acquires Maia Active stake and all the latest from China’s esports industry.

🗞️ Top Industry News Inter Miami Announces China Tour The MLS side will embark on a two-game postseason tour of China, which will see Lionel Messi and co. playing matches in Qingdao and Chengdu. Just over two weeks after their 2023 MLS campaign ends, the David Beckham-owned club will face Chinese Super League sides Qingdao Hainiu FC (Nov 5) and Chengdu Rongcheng (Nov 8). Read more on ESPN (English) and Sohu (Chinese) 💡 Mailman Take: If Messi’s visit to China in June with Argentina was anything to go by, next month’s matches will ignite Messi-mania all over again, and then some. The slightly surprising destination of Chengdu and even more surprising Qingdao will have never had a name as big as Messi plying their trade in front of 60,000 adoring locals. Messi played 90 minutes for Argentina in Beijing, scored, and ran the show. Fans will be expecting the same in a few weeks.


Warriors Top NBA Red Card 2023: China Digital Performance Index The report is a comprehensive assessment of the digital performance of NBA teams, players, and legends throughout the past 12 months in China. The report also provides a guide to broader NBA digital trends, interests, and insights. Read more on SportBusiness (English) and Ecosports (Chinese) 💡 Mailman Take: As the new NBA season approaches, fandom in China is as high as it’s ever been following a summer of the league’s best players on the mainland interacting with fans. The most popular Western sports league online in China by a country mile, the NBA has been and will continue to lead the pack. From creative digital content and providing content creators with a platform & voice to utilising new tech and bringing an increasingly immersive experience to millions, the NBA consistently delivers.


Rolex Shanghai Masters Returns in Style The Rolex Shanghai Masters returned from a four-year pandemic hiatus to resounding acclaim last week. Organisers are keen to build on the improvements after pulling off a huge challenge to deliver an expanded tournament to higher standards at their first attempt. Read more on China Daily (English) and Tencent (Chinese) 💡 Mailman Take: We spent a few days at this event and were impressed with the upgrade, following four years of no tournament. Djokovic not competing, coupled with Alcaraz and a few other top seeds bowing out early led to a few empty seats in the middle of the week. However, the final weekend of the tournament was packed out due to an electric final and Roger Federer in attendance to interact with China fans and spectate the closing matches. It was well organised with double the previous number of players and a huge raft of prestigious sponsors. Hats off to all involved. Zheng Savors Second Career Title in Zhengzhou The number 1 Chinese female superstar thrilled the home fans at the Zhengzhou Open, as she pulled off a win over No. 7 seed Barbora Krejcikova to claim the WTA 500 title, and celebrated with an impromptu karaoke session at the trophy ceremony. The popular 21-year-old capped an incredible week by becoming just the third Chinese woman to win a singles title at the WTA 500 level or higher, after Li Na and Zheng Saisai. Read more on China Daily (English) and China Daily (Chinese) 💡 Mailman Take: The China Open, Rolex Shanghai Masters, Zhuhai Open, Zhengzhou Open to name just a few have put China well and truly back on the tennis tournament map. It was at the Zhengzhou Open where China had a home win from their most talented youngster, Zheng Qinwen. China’s other youngsters didn’t hit the heights the country was expecting, but from an events standpoint, all involved did an ace job. China Names Song Kai as New Chairman of CFA Song works as the director of Liaoning province's Sports Bureau, according to state media Global Times. Sun Wen, Yuan Yongqing, Yang Xu, and Xu Jiren were named CFA vice presidents, Xinhua reported. Read more on Reuters (English) and Xinhua (Chinese) China To Stage Formula E Races In 2024 Shanghai was confirmed as a host city in Season 10 of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship. Formula E will race for the first time in Shanghai at the Shanghai International Circuit with a double-header of races on May 26 & 27. The first-ever Formula E race was held in Beijing in September 2014. Read more on Formula E (English) and Jiemian (Chinese)


🤔 Opinion With Maia Active Under its Belt, Anta Piles Pressure on Lululemon, Nike Anta Sports announced it had acquired a 75.13 percent stake in Maia Active, a Shanghai-based sportswear brand, meaning Maia Active will become a non-wholly owned subsidiary of the group. Anta Sports remarked on Maia Active’s influence on female consumers, especially in the yoga category, and its future growth potential. Read more on Jing Daily (English) C-beauty Brands Harness Guochao and Global Recognition at the 2023 Asian Games As Hangzhou-based brands, Florasis and Mao Geping were named the official cosmetics suppliers of the 2023 Asian Games. Over the two-week period, both companies launched Asian Games co-branded products, provided makeup services for the competing athletes, and refurbished the Hangzhou stores and counters with Asian Games elements. Read more on Jing Daily (English)


🎮 Esports Esports Made Their 'Tense and Exciting' Debut at This Year's Asian Games Seven games were included in the event, with a gold medal awarded for each title. China finished with four golds, South Korea won two, and Thailand one. Due to the event's popularity, esports tickets were sold on a lottery basis, with more than five million entering the ballot, according to Hangzhou Asian Games data. Read more on Business Insider (English) China Esports Blast: September Over the past month, China’s esports industry experienced a milestone moment during the 19th Hangzhou Asian Games. The Chinese esports national team won four gold medals in Honor of Kings, Peacekeeper Elite, Dream Three Kingdom and Dota 2, and one bronze medal in League of Legends. But outside the Hangzhou Asian Games, there were also multiple notable partnerships. Read more on Esports Insider (English)


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