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  • Writer's pictureDenis Green

China Sports Business Weekly | 21st October

Hello Industry Friends, here is the very latest news and insights from China. 📰 Headlines: IOC reports 2bn Beijing 2022 viewers, UFC innovates for future of athletes, Migu utilises WSC Sports’ highlight technology, Kuaishou upgrades NBA content, HBO launches Jeremy Lin documentary, Qatar wins Asian Cup 2023 rights from China, and Li-Ning apologies.


🗞️ Top Industry News IOC Reports 2.01bn Unique Viewers for Beijing 2022 The International Olympic Committee (IOC) stated video media coverage of this year's Winter Olympics had a total audience of 2.01bn unique viewers across linear television and digital platforms around the world. The figure was released in the IOC's Marketing Report for Beijing 2022. Read more on SportBusiness (English) UFC’s Innovative Partnership Puts Athletes’ Futures First The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is going beyond the Octagon in China to facilitate athletes’ development through a strategic cooperation with Project Arena - an educational program focused on athletes’ development, particularly at the end of their competitive careers. The partnership will allow them to explore more opportunities post-career, helping to boost the mass fitness sector in China. Song Yidan, the founder of Project Arena, expects the input from UFC to help broaden the outreach of the program. Read more on China Daily (English) and Sports Money (Chinese) 💡 Mailman Take: The only key mention from last weekend’s 20th Congress Meeting around sports was the confirmation of China’s continued commitment to mass participation and fitness. This innovative partnership will put UFC and its athletes at the forefront of boosting China’s fitness sector, and as we always say, aligning your goals with that of China’s Government is a win-win play in the country.


Migu to Utilise WSC Sports’ Highlights Technology The China Mobile subsidiary has signed a deal with the automated highlights company, which will see WSC Sports create content for the platform and its social media channels. This will allow Migu, which owns new media rights to a large amount of international sports content, to continue to improve its OTT streaming experience by delivering real-time highlights during live event coverage using WSC Sports’ AI-generated content creation process. Read more on SportBusiness (English) and Ecosports (Chinese) Kuaishou Upgrades NBA Season Viewing Experience The NBA’s official short video platform in China will continue to upgrade and enhance its NBA content and delivery methods such as increased innovation & tech, front-of-camera talent, original programming, exclusive variety shows, interactive quizzes, and more. Read more on Ecosports (Chinese) 💡 Mailman Take: As highlighted in our NBA Red Card, Kuaishou has become a key part of the organisation’s growth in China, helping expand its audience and innovate with new content. But tech never stands still in China. Kuaishou will need to continue developing its offering and services to ensure it remains indispensable to the NBA for years to come.


New HBO Documentary Chronicles Lin’s Landmark 2012 NBA Season ‘38 At The Garden’ examines the phenomenon of Linsanity and the cultural impact of Jeremy Lin 10 years later, against the backdrop of a rise in anti-Asian violence amid the Covid-19 pandemic. Read more on Radii (English) and HK01 (Chinese) Eileen Gu Crowned Best Athletes of Beijing 2022 at ANOC Awards The gold medalist, who became the first action-sports athlete to win three medals at the same Olympics at Beijing 2022, was named the best performing female athlete of the Games at the 2022 Association of National Olympic Committees, ANOC, Awards in Seoul. Read more on Olympics (English) and Olympics (Chinese) Qatar Wins Asian Cup 2023 Rights Following China Drop Qatar has been confirmed as the host nation of the 2023 AFC Asian Cup, beating competition from South Korea and Indonesia. The tournament, which will now most likely be shifted to early 2024, will take place in Qatar for the third time. China had originally won the right to host the tournament, but pulled out due to its Covid-19 prevention policies. Read more on Forbes (English) Hong Kong’s i-Cable Secures Exclusive Asian Games Rights The telecoms operator has secured exclusive media rights in Hong Kong to the Hangzhou 2022 Asian Games, providing “extensive online and offline coverage” throughout the multi-sport event. The 2022 Asian Games are due to be held in Hangzhou from September 23 to October 8 next year after being postponed by 12 months as a result of Covid-19. Read more on SportBusiness (English) and HK01 (Chinese) Pandas Sent by China Arrive in Qatar Ahead of World Cup A pair of giant pandas sent as a gift from China arrived in Qatar ahead of next month’s World Cup. They are the unofficial national mascot of China. Read more on AP News (English) and Xinhua (Chinese) 🎮 Esports Facing Pressure in China, Tencent Chooses to Increase Overseas Game Business The internet giant has recently cancelled some of its non-core marginal businesses and laid off employees in China while accelerating its investment in the global game industry. In the past three years, Tencent has initiated at least 141 game-related investment mergers and acquisitions globally. Read more on Pandaily (English)


🗞️ In Other News Li-Ning Apologises for Controversial Design The popular Chinese sports brand recently caused controversy over some products that are similar to Japanese military uniforms. The resulting backlash caused the company’s share price to plummet. Netizens uncovered that the company’s co-CEO is a Japanese citizen, pushing the discussion to a peak. Read more on Pandaily (English) Douyin and Kuaishou Compete for Social Metaverse Following the launch of virtual avatar “Douyin Zaizai,” ByteDance’s Douyin platform recently unveiled a new virtual space called “Douyin Xiaowo.” Meanwhile, competing Chinese short video streaming platform Kuaishou is also developing a virtual avatar social networking layout. Read more on Pandaily (English) Kappa Gears Up for World Cup, Tap into China’s “Blokecore” Fad The Italian sportswear maker has assembled football enthusiasts by teaming up with China’s football clubs while tapping into the emerging “Blokecore” fad - a trend that is closely linked to an old football fashion movement in the West. Read more on DAO (English) Douyin Adds Shopping to ByteDance News App The Short video app is accelerating its ecommerce push and venturing into movie ticketing as owner ByteDance doubles down on efforts to turn its user base into a steady stream of revenue. The Beijing-based company is looking to leverage the combined user base of its two biggest apps. Read more on SCMP (English) and ChinaZ (Chinese)


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