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  • Writer's pictureDenis Green

China Sports Business Weekly | 3rd September

Hello Industry Friends, here are the very latest news and insights from the past week in China.

📰 Headlines: China’s new gaming policy set to shake up the industry, National Games brings 100+ local sponsors on-board, ByteDance becomes 5th Bundesliga broadcast partner, LPL announces new bold branding, Zhang Weili set for Rose rematch, and China’s online population surges past the 1B mark.


🗞️ Top Industry News New Stringent Policy Set to Shake Up China’s Gaming Industry A big shock to the gaming industry has left many wondering what or who is next as China’s government continues its clampdown across multiple sectors. Previously under 18s in China were afforded 13.5 hours per week online gaming, now it’s a measly 3. That’s millions of unhappy teenagers. Read more on Reuters (English) and Xinhuanet (Chinese) 💡 Mailman Take: The current generation of young gamers will continue to find a way to play, however 3 hours per week could discourage the new generation from taking up gaming as a hobby or future career. The big winner here is the video streaming platforms that benefit as gamers shift more from participation to consumption. 107 New Sponsors On-Board for National Games Not one, not two, but 107 sponsors have jumped on the bandwagon ahead of China’s 14th National Games. The major, multi-sport event, taking place every four years, will feature 20K athletes, competing in more than 400 events in 35 sports. Read more on SportBusiness (English) and Sports Money (Chinese) ByteDance Lands Non-Exclusive Bundesliga Rights The deal is the company’s biggest sports rights acquisition to date, having previously acquired rights for domestic properties including combat sports and fishing. ByteDance becomes the fifth digital platform to nab Bundesliga streaming rights following deals with Tencent, Migu, Huya and Dongqiudi. High five! Read more on SportBusiness (English)

💡 Mailman Take: We've seen this type of short-form video platform deal before between Kuaishou and the CBA. The drop in media rights value, matched with right holders opting for multi-platform coverage over exclusive, will mean more short video platforms showing live sports content in the future.

iQiyi Sports Wins World Cup Qualifying Final Round Media Rights

Alongside CCTV and Migu, iQiyi will broadcast all China’s qualifying matches on the road to the FIFA World Cup in Qatar next year. Read more on iQiyi Sports (Chinese)

Zhang Weili & Rose Namajunas Set for UFC Rematch The former Chinese champion got her wish granted as a rematch with Rose was announced for November 6 in Vegas at Madison Square Garden. Read more on ESPN (English) and (Chinese)


🎮 Esports

LPL Announces New Branding The LPL (Legends Pro League) is aiming to create a bold identity for the next decade and beyond. The rebranding launch video published on LPL’s official Twitter showcased the brand new visual design for LPL and announced the new slogan: Crazy is Our Game. Read more on Esports Insider (English) and Sina (Chinese)

Esports Leagues Postponed Due to New Policies Three mobile esports leagues - Call of Duty: Mobile Masters, Peacekeeper Elite League, and the LPL Qualifier for League of Legends: Wild Rift - have been postponed as they each attempt to comply with the new policy of under 18s being afforded just 3 hours of online gaming per week at specific hours. Read more on Dotesports (English) and Jiemian (Chinese)


🤔 Opinion Prada Takes the Lead on China’s Explosive Winter Sports Market Prada exclusively launched their “Prada On Ice” collection at the SKP Atrium in Beijing. The collection was inspired by the dynamism of winter sports, but with a modern and iconic twist, in response to the upcoming 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics. Read more on Jing Daily (English) 💡 Mailman Take: Beijing 2022 is going to be the biggest focus for China’s government, the nation and local brands for the next seven months. If there’s ever been a time to align your China strategy with winter sports, it’s now.


🗞️ Other News 1B and Counting for China’s Online Population Up 21.75M compared with December, the report from the China Internet Network Information Center also stated 469M netizens use the internet to order food, largely due to COVID-19 and people working from home. Read more on China Daily (English) and (Chinese) Universal Studios Opens First Theme Park in China Located in China’s capital Beijing, the world-renowned theme park has soft opened its gates to China, while the official public opening is set for September 20 following several delays due to the pandemic. Read more on CNN (English) and Beijing News (Chinese)


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Headquartered in Shanghai, China, Mailman is a global sports digital consultancy and agency. We help the world’s leading sports organisations serve their audiences and build their businesses. With over 200 experts across China, Southeast Asia, Europe, and the US, we specialise in digital strategy, transformation, social media, content production and eCommerce. Mailman is part of 160/90, an Endeavor company. Learn more about our story here.

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