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  • Writer's pictureDenis Green

China Sports Business Weekly | 28th October

Hello Industry Friends, here is the very latest news and insights from China. 📰 Headlines: China eyes 2031 Women’s World Cup bid, Nike signs UZI as first esports athlete, Chinese fans snap up thousands of World Cup tickets, China paddlers dominate WTT Macau event, Bilibili joins Double 11 bonanza, Louis Vuitton opens Chengdu restaurant. 🗣 In this week’s From The Top, we spoke with Wu Yibing, Professional Chinese Tennis player and the first Chinese male to win a Grand Slam match in 63 years, about winning that match, why it’s taken a male so long, the future of Chinese tennis, and his next career goals.


🗞️ Top Industry News China to Bid for Women’s World Cup 2031 The Chinese Women’s Football Reform and Development Programme - released by the Chinese Football Association, the ministries of education and finance, and the General Administration of Sport of China - has set targets for the country’s women’s team to rank among the world’s best and for China to bid to host the FIFA Women’s World Cup in 2031. Read more on SCMP (English) and Global Times (Chinese) 💡 Mailman Take: The level of Women’s sport in China has traditionally been very high across most sports, particularly football. The country’s latest development plan for women’s football is much more realistic and attainable, compared to the one released years ago, which had very unrealistic goals of the Chinese men’s team winning a World Cup by 2050. Nike Signs UZI as its First Esports Player The powerhouse brand officially announced that it had signed a contract with the famous Chinese esports athlete Jian Zihao 'UZI'. This marks the first esports athlete in the world welcomed by the Nike family, who stated UZI's participation will not only add new vitality to Nike but also encourage more young people to stick to their love and find new inspiration and creativity in sports. Read more on Sport Business Journal (English) and Sohu (Chinese) 💡 Mailman Take: UZI is the Chinese godfather of esports. This is a monumental signing within the world of esports and showcases Nike's continued commitment to growing in this space since its entry in 2020 around the League of Legends World Championships in Shanghai. We're excited to see a new UZI x Nike line that rivals Jordan and puts esports as a key vertical within Nike's China operations. Chinese Fans Snap Up World Cup Tickets A total of 2.89M tickets have been sold for the World Cup in Qatar, FIFA chief Operating Officer Colin Smith announced at a press conference on the 30-day countdown to the tournament on October 17. Of those, it is understood that Chinese fans bought 5K to 7K tickets Read more on Global Times (English) and Lanxiong Sports (Chinese)

Wang Churn and Sun Yingsha Crowned at WTT Macao Event The Macau leg of the 2022 World Table Tennis Tournament of Champions culminated with the women's and men's singles finals, seeing Sun Yingsha and Wang Chuqin defeating teammates Chen Xingtong and Fan Zhendong respectively to take the titles. Read more on Xinhua (English) and (Chinese)


Chen Yuxi and Quan Hongchan Land World Cup Title and Runner-up Spot The Chinese diving team won three gold medals at the 2022 FINA Diving World Cup women's 10m platform final, Chinese players Chen Yuxi and Quan Hongchan won first and second place. Read more on China Daily (English) and Xinhua (Chinese)


🗞️ In Other News

First Louis Vuitton Restaurant to Open in Chengdu The world-renowned luxury brand unveiled its plans to open its first restaurant in China at Chengdu’s Sino-Ocean Taikoo Li mall. Working in partnership with Michelin and the Black Pearl Guide, the luxury eatery will open around the end of October or early November. Read more on DAO (English) and FoodTalks (Chinese)


🎮 Esports More Than a Hobby: Understanding the Esports Market in China China Briefing discusses the opportunities and risks in China's esports industry. Read more on China Briefing (English)


🤔 Opinion Despite lockdowns, the China sports-fashion industry continues to diversify China’s rise of both ‘athleisure’ and ‘athluxury’ in sports fashion is a direct result of the level of sports maturity and a greater appetite for higher quality, according to Lululemon China’s digital brand director, Gavin Lum. Read more on Campaign Asia (English) Bilibili Joins Double 11’s Livestreaming Sales Battle A new player is joining this year’s “Double 11” e-commerce battle - Bilibili. Ahead of China’s biggest shopping bonanza, the 13-year-old video-sharing site officially launched a livestreaming shopping function. Read more on Jing Daily (English) and Sohu (Chinese)


🎙️ From The Top 🗣 Wu Yibing, Professional Chinese Tennis player 1. How did it feel to become the first Chinese male to win a Grand Slam match in 63 years? I feel happy of course, it’s a good sign for the younger Chinese players. I am very excited that I'm part of this process, and hopefully, I can go further than the 3rd round of a Grand Slam next year. 2. Why has it taken so long for a male to win at a Grand Slam, what have been the biggest hurdles for the sport in China? I don’t think it is China-specific, every country wants to produce a Grand Slam champion. And it is never easy to win a Grand Slam. You also need to have a great team and good people around you. If you have people around who can help you avoid making the wrong decisions, it will definitely help. 3. Do you see a bright future for China’s young tennis players, what has changed at the grassroots in China to help start producing better talent? And which young talent excites you the most? Yes of course. I also consider myself a young player. I still feel I have a lot more to give. We also have a lot of young talent in our country who are playing at different levels of tournaments. All the success or good results we are having now will give more hope to the next generation. We are all in this together. And hopefully, we can help promote tennis in China and have more children interested in playing. 4. What’s your next goal as a professional, and which tournament do you enjoy playing in the most & why? I'd like to keep myself healthy first. And I'm trying to break into the top 100 at this moment. I love playing at ATP events in China and I miss playing in my home country. I'm very much looking forward to playing in the China season, hopefully soon.


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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