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  • Writer's pictureDenis Green

China Sports Business Weekly | 2nd December

Hello Industry Friends, here is the very latest news and insights from China. 📰 Headlines: Mengniu and PSG sign sponsorship deal, F1 cancels 2023 China race, ACB agrees to PP Sports and Bilibili streaming deals, Great Wall Motor signs on as BWF sponsor, Belgian FA adds DeRucci as a regional sponsor, FIFA World Cup sets off consumption boom for, and China claims youth gaming addiction is resolved.

🗞️ Top Industry News Mengniu and PSG Sign Sponsorship Deal The French Ligue 1 champions signed the sponsorship deal with leading Chinese dairy brand Mengniu Group, meaning Mengniu becomes an official regional partner of PSG in China. The deal strengthens Mengniu’s presence within football, with the company already counting PSG stars Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappé as brand ambassadors. Read more on SportBusiness (English) and PP Sports (Chinese) 💡 Mailman Take: Mengniu is making a splash at the ongoing FIFA World Cup, and clearly sees football as a vehicle to grow its brand globally. But Mengniu isn’t the only Chinese dairy brand going big on football. Main competitor Yili has been partnering with some of the world’s biggest football nations and players. Big Chinese brands leveraging global sporting events to promote their products show no signs of slowing down.


F1 China Race Cancelled for Fourth Year in a Row Formula One has confirmed that the Chinese Grand Prix will not take place in 2023, making it the fourth year in a row the race has been canceled. F1 has not visited the Shanghai circuit since 2019 as China pursues a strict policy of lockdowns and entry restrictions during the pandemic. Read more on AP (English) and F1 (Chinese) 💡 Mailman Take: Cautious optimism had surrounded F1 returning to China next year. But the latest announcement leaves the Shanghai circuit staring down the barrel of a fourth straight year without a race, and another year where Chinese driver Zhou Guanyu can’t race in front of his home crowd. F1 was also set to be the first international sporting event to take place in China next year. The waiting game goes on.

ACB Signs PP Sports and Bilibili Streaming Deals The Spanish Basketball Clubs Association (ACB) has agreed to rights deals in China with the two online streaming platforms for Liga ACB, the top tier of Spanish club basketball. The ACB announced that PP Sports has now upped its commitment to all nine games, whilst Liga ACB’s 2021-22 season was broadcast in China on Bilibili, which has renewed its rights to cover the current campaign. Read more on SportBusiness (English) Great Wall Motor Signs on for Relocated World Tour Finals The Chinese automotive manufacturer has agreed on a deal to sponsor the Badminton World Federation’s 2022 World Tour Finals in Thailand later this month. GWM has signed on as the official automotive partner of the finals, which will be held from December 7-11 at Nimibutr Stadium in Bangkok. Read more on SportBusiness (English) and Sports Money (Chinese)


Belgian FA Adds DeRucci as Regional Sponsor The Royal Belgian Football Association (RBFA) has added the Chinese bedding brand DeRucci International as a regional sponsor. Activation will begin during the ongoing 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, with a focus on promoting China’s healthy sleep culture. Read more on SportBusiness (English) and Ecosports (Chinese) Nreal Recreates Lusail Stadium with AR to Attract Football Fans The Chinese Augmented Reality startup had teamed up with the Qatar Tourism Administration to build an immersive football-themed AR space. Hosted on Nreal's AR app Teleport, the digital space harnesses AR technology to create a digital replica of Lusail, Qatar's biggest stadium set to hold the World Cup final, in the hope of offering Chinese fans a virtual front-row seat. Read more on China Daily (English) and Ecosports (Chinese) Digital Torchbearer Program for Asian Games Unveiled The Asian Games, originally scheduled for September this year, will now be held from Sept 23 to Oct 8, 2023. Husain Al-Musallam, director-general of the Olympic Council of Asia, shared his appreciation for those who have contributed to the Games' preparation and has invited people all over the world to become Asian Games' digital torchbearers. Read more on China Daily (English) and (Chinese) Qatari Prince Opens Douyin Account After Becoming Hit in China During the ongoing FIFA World Cup in Qatar, Abdulrahman Fahad al-Thani, a member of the country’s ruling family, has become a hit among Chinese fans as his dramatic facial expressions draw comparisons to event mascot La’eeb. Read more on Pandaily (English) and Tencent (Chinese)


🤔 Opinion FIFA World Cup Sets Off Consumption Boom for The arrival of the 2022 FIFA World Cup not only has millions of Chinese football fans embracing the month-long football fiesta, but it has also heated up the nation’s evening economy, sparking an ecommerce boom on’s instant retail platform. Read more on DAO (English) China’s New Outdoor Sports Initiatives Create Growth Opportunities For Brands In the wake of the rising popularity of outdoor sports such as cycling, skiing, trekking, paddle boarding, and paragliding - China’s public sector has pledged to provide infrastructure and more resources for outdoor activities. Read more on Jing Daily (English)


🎮 Esports China Claims Youth Gaming Addiction Resolved Young people in China have curbed their addiction to video games, a report says. The claim is made by the China Game Industry Group Committee, affiliated to the gaming regulator. And it may raise hopes officials - who once attacked video games as "spiritual opium" - may soften the country's severe gaming restrictions. Since August 2021, children have been banned from gaming for more than three hours a week. Read more on BBC (English)


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