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  • Writer's pictureDenis Green

China Sports Business Weekly | 24th June

Hello Industry Friends, here are the very latest news and insights from China. 📰 Headlines: Douyin to broadcast FIFA World Cup, LaLiga terminates Super Sports Media deal, Zhao Yunlei enters badminton Hall of Fame, UFC signs BTNature deal in China, LaLiga launches ecommerce outlet, 100 days to go for table tennis championships in Chengdu, NetEase delays Diablo Immortal's China launch, Bilibili introduces first pay-per-view video, metaverse industry in Shanghai on track to hit $52.3B by 2025.


🗞️ Top Industry News Bytedance’s Douyin to Broadcast FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 The Bytedance-owned platform has landed new media rights to this year’s FIFA World Cup, as part of a strategic partnership with China Media Group / CCTV. Douyin will broadcast all 64 games live. This isn’t the first time Douyin has live broadcast matches before, having streamed games from the Bundesliga and Copa America previously. Read more on SportBusiness (English) and Ecosports (Chinese) 💡 Mailman Take: A big statement from Douyin of their intent to invest more in sports following increased competition from Kuaishou in that area. The increase in traffic, opportunities for brand partnerships, and diversifying their offering outside of short-form videos give Douyin, and football accounts on the platform, a big boost during the most-watched sports tournament in China outside of the Olympics.


LaLiga Terminates Media Rights Partnership with Super Sports Media Spain’s LaLiga is terminating its digital media rights agreement in China with Super Sports Media, due to reportedly missed rights fee payments. The league is also approaching the Chinese market to sell its digital rights from 2022-23 onwards. The Super Sports Media deal was one of LaLiga’s most valuable international media rights agreements. Read more on SportBusiness (English) and NetEase (Chinese) 💡 Mailman Take: Just as we were starting to see some stability in the market following turbulent years of inflated spending and platforms crashing, another deal bites the dust. This deal was a high-value outlier compared to the rest of the current European football league deals, not anymore. The market is in a totally different place to two years ago, a much more realistic place. Onwards. Zhao Yunlei Inducted into Badminton Hall of Fame The Chinese doubles badminton legend was inducted into the 2022 Badminton World Federation Hall of Fame. Zhao has won multiple tournaments, most notably in mixed doubles with Zhang Nan and women's doubles with Tian Qing. She was the only player to win a double at the same Olympics (London 2012) and two consecutive World Championships (Copenhagen 2014, Jarkada 2015). Read more on China Daily (English) and Xinhua (Chinese)


UFC to Launch Co-Branded Products in BTNature Deal in China The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) has announced a new regional partnership with Australian company BTNature. The deal designates BTNature producer as the UFC’s official dairy product partner in China and will see the regional launch of co-branded milk powder lines. Read more on SportsPro (English) and Tencent (Chinese)

LaLiga Launches Ecommerce Outlet in China The outlet was launched on Youzan, as part of the league’s strategy to engage more closely with fans in the country. Accessible through LaLiga’s official account on WeChat, it will feature official LaLiga and club merchandise. The products will include club jerseys and LaLiga-branded equipment. Read more on SportBusiness (English) and Ecosports (Chinese) 100-Day Countdown to Table Tennis Championships in Chengdu The International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) unveiled qualified teams for the Chengdu 2022 World Team Table Tennis Championships Finals on Wednesday, exactly 100 days before the Games begin. The event will be put under strict closed-loop management in a bubble format. Read more on Xinhua (English) and (Chinese) Under Armour Signs Lin Xiyu The popular female Chinese golfer will wear Under Armour's professional golf equipment to compete in the international women's professional golf circuit. Lin is currently China’s highest-ranked female golfer and number 31 in the world. Read more on Ecosports (Chinese)


🎮 Esports NetEase Delays Diablo Immortal's China Launch, Shares Tumble The Internet and gaming giant delayed the rollout of the game in China three days ahead of its official launch. China-based NetEase, which was set to release the game on Thursday, did not provide a new launch date, but said it wanted to make changes such as improvements to the game-play experience and conduct "multiple optimization adjustments". Read more on Reuters (English) and The Paper (Chinese)


🗞️ Other News Bilibili Introduces First Pay-Per-View Video The video, from an independent uploader, could mark what could be a new game plan for China’s largest online video platform. The video is the ‘Top 10 Unsolved Mysteries of the World’ video series uploaded by renowned user “Goushou Laodaye Duncan”, which is set to have a total of 10 episodes. Currently, each episode costs 30 RMB ($4.48) and can only be viewed after purchasing it on the Bilibili mobile app. Read more on DAO (English) Metaverse Industry in Shanghai On Track to Hit $52.3B by 2025 The update was revealed by a local industry regulator at the recently concluded Shanghai Global Investment Promotion Conference 2022. Also in focus was the development of virtual human beings and the application of NFT-powered technologies, which is deemed to be “a crucial step” to the metaverse ambition. Read more on DAO (English) and Yicai (Chinese)


🤔 Opinion Lessons for Brands in China from 618 That ‘other big shopping festival' on China's calendar, 618, wrapped up over the weekend providing many lessons for brands in China. It also acts as a barometer to gauge Chinese consumers' appetite for spending following the recent spate of lockdowns in Chinese cities. China Skinny explores more (English) Brands Should Cut Ties with the StockX of China Before It’s Too Late Chinese sprinter and Tokyo Olympics medalist Su Bingtian is suing the parent company of online fashion resale marketplace Poizon for image rights infringement after the platform used his picture illegally. The news quickly reached Weibo, making the hashtag #SuBingtianSuesPoizonforInfringement the 4th most trending topic of the day. Read more on Jing Daily (English)


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