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  • Writer's pictureDenis Green

China Sports Business Weekly | 4th March

Here are the very latest news and insights from China.

📰 Headlines: ANTA to open FILA-branded hotel, PUMA and NBA China sign marketing cooperation, Kuaishou benefits from Olympics broadcast deal, Chengdu table tennis championships pushed back, Spurs’ successful Bilibili live stream, more ski fever, popular virtual hosts, and Gen-Z’s new favourite app.


🗞️ Top Industry News ANTA to Open First FILA-Branded Hotel in Shanghai The popular Chinese sportswear brand which gained plenty of attention at the Beijing Winter Olympics is leveraging FILA to pursue a new line of business: hotels. ANTA is collaborating with Hyatt Hotels to launch the branded hotel, which will be part of ANTA’s new Shanghai headquarters, including office buildings, shops, and dining outlets. ANTA bought the Chinese rights to FILA in 2009. Read more on Front Office Sports (English) and The Beijing News (Chinese)

💡 Mailman Take: Fresh off the back of a home Olympics, mixed with the struggles of Western giants in China, ANTA, with its FILA-branded hotel, is bullish for 2022. Immersive, branded experiences are a growing trend here in China, with powerhouses like the NBA and Manchester United also going down this route.


PUMA & NBA China Sign Multi-Year Marketing Cooperation With this cooperation, PUMA will develop a more diverse content ecosystem related to basketball and consolidate its leading position in the industry. In return, the combination of fashion and basketball shoes will attract more people into basketball. Read more on (Chinese)


Kuaishou Benefits from Olympics Broadcast Deal The short video platform became the first of its kind to broadcast the Olympics, globally, amassing a self-reported 154.48B views of its Winter Olympics video content. Read more on Dao (English) and Ecosports (Chinese) 💡 Mailman Take: Many were surprised when Kuaishou landed broadcast rights to Beijing 2022, particularly when the platform would be competing against CCTV and Migu. Kuaishou's entry into sports content has been aggressive and, with its success, has further expanded its audience reach on the platform. We don’t expect any steps back in 2022 either, and with a FIFA World Cup coming up, could we see the world’s showpiece football event make its way to the platform? Table Tennis Championships in Chengdu Delayed This year's World Team Table Tennis Championships in Chengdu have been delayed by almost six months. The event, which had been due to take place in April, will now not start until September 30, the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) has announced. Read more on Inside The Games (English) and Chinanews (Chinese) 💡 Mailman Take: A sign of just how tough it’s going to be for international sports events to take place in China this year. COVID-19 continues to surface across some regions in China, and with no clarity on when or if China will loosen its zero-COVID policy, it’s a complete guessing game as to when international events will finally be staged. Our guess is Q4 this year at the earliest. Spurs Become First Football Club to Livestream FA Cup Match on Bilibili

Having launched their account during Chinese New Year with record follower growth, Tottenham Hotspur became the first football club to livestream their match against Middlesbrough in the FA Cup 5th round on their own Bilibili channel. Bilibili secured exclusive rights to the FA Cup for 3 seasons and has over 267 million MAUs. Watch more on Bilibili (Chinese)

SHOKZ Partners with IRONMAN China

The Chinese headphones company, which is increasingly popular with sports enthusiasts and athletes, has become the only designated sports headphones of IRONMAN China. Read more on Ecosports (Chinese)


🤔 Opinion Will China’s Ski Fever Cool Down? With an eye to the China market, luxury brands have been piling into the ski industry recently, preempting the country’s boom following the Beijing Winter Olympics. And boom it certainly has. Read more on Jing Daily (English)

Virtual Host Debuts on, Can AI Take Over as China’s Top Live Streamer? Whilst Li Jiaqi, the country’s top online salesman for cosmetic products seems to have had a monopoly on China’s live-streaming sales to date, the recent debut of a virtual beauty live streamer, Xiaomei on serves as a reminder that the battle is not yet over. Read more on Dao (English)


🤔 Other News

China’s Gen Z are ditching WeChat to socialise on Jelly There’s been a new kid on the block on Chinese social media feeds - Jelly (Zheli). Users have been posting screenshots showing 3D avatars of themselves dressed cool, hanging out in virtual “apartments.” Jelly could be the next big thing for China’s Gen Z users, who are looking for a more interactive, animated environment. Read more on KrASIA (English) and The Paper (Chinese)


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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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