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  • Writer's pictureDenis Green

China Sports Business Weekly | 21st July

Hello Industry Friends, here is the very latest news and insights from China. 📰 Headlines: Village football craze eyes profits, Medvedev confirms China Open debut, Raducanu and Yibing to headline MGM Macau tennis masters, China dominates at World Swimming Championships, Keep fitness app lists on HKSE, Evergrande reveals $81bn loss, an A to Z guide to China’s ‘core’ fashion trends, and a deep dive into China’s esports world.

🗞️ Top Industry News Village Super League Looks to Net Profits The grassroots football tournaments have been attracting thousands of fans, helping to boost regional tourism and support local businesses. Rongjiang was just an obscure county in Guizhou province until May when it became famous for staging the Village Super League (cunchao) - a grassroots football tournament. The county in Qiandongnan Miao and Dong autonomous prefecture, which has a population of 385k, has welcomed more than 1m tourists since the ongoing rural football tournament began on May 13. Read more on China Daily (English) and Sohu (Chinese) 💡 Mailman Take: What started off as a community sport for fun has turned into one of the biggest sports crazes the country has ever witnessed, and with that, there’s money to be made. But this isn’t money in terms of media rights or brand exposure; it’s money for local businesses as millions of tourists flock to rural China to watch the action. Whether broadcasters and brands eventually get in on the action is yet to be seen, but for now, the village sport craze train hurtles on.


Medvedev Confirms China Open Debut This year's China Open has confirmed former world No 1, Daniil Medvedev confirmed he will play at the ATP 500 tournament, which takes place from Sept 26 - Oct 4. With Carlos Alcaraz having already committed to the event, the China Open looks set to witness a major clash between the newly crowned Wimbledon champion and 2021 US Open winner Medvedev. Read more on China Daily (English) and Beijing Daily (Chinese) 💡 Mailman Take: A huge boost for the start of the China Swing as the world’s biggest tennis names return to the country for the first time since pre-Covid. Starved of live sport for so long, we expect sell-out crowds and plenty of enthusiasm, as was evident when Messi and his Argentina side ascended on the capital last month to play against Australia. Emma Raducanu and Wu Yibing to ‘Add More Firepower’ to MGM Macau Tennis Masters US Open winner Emma Raducanu and rising Chinese talent Wu Yibing have been added to the star-studded line-up for the MGM Macau Tennis Masters in December. Organisers had previously announced that Olympic gold medallist Belinda Bencic, and top 10 ATP Tour duo Taylor Fritz and Frances Tiafore, would be playing in the invitational tournament at the city’s East Asian Games Dome. Read more on SCMP (English) and Sohu (Chinese) Keep Lists on HKSE with Market Cap of $2bn The fitness app becomes the first sports technology company to be officially listed on The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong (HKSE). The opening price was about $3.87, a 4.77% increase from the issue price, resulting in a market capitalisation of $2bn. Read more on Pandaily (English) and The Beijing News (Chinese) China Maintains Dominance at World Swimming Championships in Japan China is continuing its dominance with its medal haul of ten golds, two silvers, and two bronzes. China's diving and artistic swimming teams notably contributed to the impressive tally, with the diving team winning nine gold medals. Read more on Sohu (Chinese). Crisis-hit Chinese Property Giant Evergrande Reveals $81bn Loss Evergrande revealed that in 2021 and 2022 it lost a combined $81.1bn. The firm, which defaulted on its debts in late-2021, reported its long overdue earnings to investors in Hong Kong. Evergrande has been struggling with an estimated $300bn of debts. The huge losses highlight how much the developer was rocked in recent years by the property market crisis in the world's second-largest economy. Read more on BBC (English) and Sohu (Chinese)


🤔 Opinion An A to Z Guide to China’s ‘Core’ Fashion Trends Gen Z fashionistas have a funny - or perhaps scarily powerful - way with words. Simply tack “core” onto the back of any noun and a new trend is born. To stay on top of algorithm-driven social media feeds, Gen Z creators are churning out fresh content at a disorienting speed, drawing from every style and subculture all at once. Largely originating on TikTok and Instagram, many of these viral aesthetics have gone on to make waves in China and beyond, with local youth putting their own cultural spin on the styles. Read more on Jing Daily (English)


🎮 Esports Esports Around The World: China China, being one of the world’s largest economies, is also esports’ largest commercial market. During the last decade, China has cemented itself as one of the leaders in esports, game development, publishing and tournament organising. The country is home to world champions in a number of games, and some of the largest esports companies in the world. Read more on Esports Insider (English)


🎫 Events SportsPro APAC Taking place in Singapore on the 1st and 2nd August, this two-day event will act as the gateway that unites the APAC region with the rest of the world. Explore the trends, themes and challenges facing a fragmented region, including how to most effectively reach and monetise the APAC fanbase. Hear from the region’s most innovative broadcasters, rights holders, brands, and service providers at the forefront of the industry’s future. Read more on SportsPro (English)


Mailman is China’s leading sports digital agency. We exist at the intersection of digital & sports. We help top sports organisations & brands to build sustainable businesses in China, one of the world's most challenging markets. Mailman is part of the Endeavor network. Learn more about our story here.

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