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  • Writer's pictureDenis Green

China Sports Business Weekly | 24th March

Hello Industry Friends, here is the very latest news and insights from China.


📰 Headlines: Shinai Sports lands three-year French Open deal, ATP confirms China events in 2024, Decathlon eyes faster growth with fitness, Bytedance launches Bilibili rival, Anta breaks RMB 50bn mark, Macau Open returns to schedule, and China imports 27 foreign video games.

 

🗞️ Top Industry News

Shinai Sports Lands Three-year Exclusive Deal for French Open Shinai Sports, the home of tennis in China, has agreed to exclusively broadcast the French Open for three years, covering the 2023-25 period. The tournament, which Chinese legend Li Na won back in 2011, will be available to watch on the iQiyi sports platforms. Read more on Sports Money (Chinese) 💡 Mailman Take: Tennis is set for a bumper year in China, and future, as the sport makes a return to the country this year. Emerging homegrown talent has got more people playing and watching the sport, with genuine hopes of Chinese players reaching the final days of the tournament. We could be seeing the next Li Na at some point in 2023, and Chinese fans will not want to miss that moment.


 

ATP Announces 2024 Season

63 tournaments are set to take place across 29 countries, with China confirmed on the ATP Tour calendar. The China events include the ATP 250 events in Chengdu and Zhuhai, followed by the ATP 500 China Open in Beijing, culminating with the Shanghai Rolex Masters. Read more on SBJ (English) and Sina (Chinese) Decathlon Eyes Faster Growth in China The French sporting goods retailer is doubling-down in China's sports market as local consumers search for healthier lifestyles. To cater to this, Decathlon China organised "Sport to Paris” together with the French Embassy in Beijing. The event, held across seven Chinese cities, demonstrated the health benefits of various sports such as paddleboarding, running, balance biking, skateboarding, cycling, and hiking. Read more on China Daily (English) 💡 Mailman Take: Fitness & health is an area brands need to be quick to tap into. China’s fitness goals are still very high on the national agenda, and the more brands and sports organisations can integrate, the more favourable they will be seen by the government and consumers. Douyin Launches Long-form Video App Qing Tao to Challenge Bilibili The youth-oriented platform focuses on hobby- and knowledge-based videos, with a slogan of “Share your Passion.” Currently only available in China for Android users, the app enables direct interaction with Douyin. With technology, science, sports, culture, and art at its core, plus its design similarities with Bilibili, Qing Tao is being widely seen as ByteDance’s attempt to compete with Bilibili. Read more on Technode (English) and Ifeng (Chinese)

Asian Tour: Macao Open Returns to Schedule

The event will return to the Asian Tour schedule in October for the first time since 2017. The Hong Kong Open is also expected to take place later this year, meaning the eyes of the golfing world could well be on the region for a month of high-profile tournaments. Read more on SCMP (English) and Sohu (Chinese) Anta Breaks RMB 50bn Revenue for First Time

The popular local brand, which also owns Fila, saw revenue increase 8.8 percent to RMB 53.65bn in 2022, compared to RMB 49.33bn in 2021. The company said the pandemic prompted them to expedite digitalisation within the group and to continue integrating online and offline channels to cater to rapidly changing consumer habits. Read more on SGB (English) and Xinhua (Chinese) LEGO Hosts Sports Car Exhibition in Shanghai

The world-renowned toy brand kicked off its first-ever sports car exhibition at the Anomaly OPEN space in Shanghai. From March 11 to 29, the auto show will showcase 30 models including 21 popular LEGO Technic products as well as release 8 new products. Read more on DAO (English) and Tencent (Chinese) Nike‘s Greater China Q3 Revenue Reaches $1.99bn The brand has been challenged in China recently with excess inventory and soft sales as the region recovers from the pandemic. Nike said it is taking a “cautious approach” to planning, given worries about the consumer and the economy. Read more on CNBC (English) and Sports Money (Chinese)

 

🤔 Opinion


Adidas’ Deep Dive Into Chinese Culture Aims To Re-energise The Local Market

Amid the pandemic and the rising guochao (national trends) fervor that fueled growth of local sportswear brands, Adidas saw a decline in its Greater China revenue for six consecutive quarters. As China recovers from the pandemic, this could be the ideal moment for the brand to stage a comeback with its thoughtfully-crafted China narrative. Read more on Jing Daily (English)


Athleisure Boom Hits China’s Young Men

In October 2022, activewear label Vuori launched on Tmall, just a month before the platform’s annual Double 11 shopping festival. On Chinese social media, the brand has positioned itself as the male version of “Lululemon,” projecting a California-inspired active lifestyle with its hashtag #ADayInVuori and collaborations with Chinese male workout influencers. Read more on Jing Daily (English)

 

🎮 Esports


China Imports 27 Foreign Video Games as it Reopens Market to Global Titles

China has approved 27 foreign video games, including titles to be released by Tencent, NetEase and Bilibili, as it gradually reopens the world's largest mobile entertainment market to international titles. It was the second batch of foreign games to be allowed to enter the Chinese market since December. Read more on CNN (English) and China News (Chinese)

 

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