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  • Writer's pictureDenis Green

China Sports Business Weekly | 5th August

Hello Industry Friends, here are the very latest news and insights from China. 📰 Headlines: FIFA+ launches in China, LaLiga goes OTT, English Premier League returns to CCTV, Hong Kong Sevens is back this year, Feng Shan Shan retires, CBA eyes October return, Evergrande lands big refund, and KAWO’s ultimate social media marketing cheatsheet. 🗣 In this week’s From The Top, we spoke with Tang Jiali, Professional Chinese Football Player for China's Women's National Team, about her life in England playing for Tottenham Hotspur and the main differences between English and Chinese football.


🗞️ Top Industry News FIFA+ Launches in China Launching through WeChat, FIFA+ will provide Chinese football fans with access to live football matches from every corner of the world, interactive games, news, tournament information, ground-breaking, unrivalled original video content, and more. It aims to deliver truly global storytelling around the men’s and women’s games. Read more on Beijing Daily (Chinese) 💡 Mailman Take: FIFA+ is already available in over 10 languages around the world and has now been brought to China with Mandarin-language content. This platform built through a WeChat Mini Program will be a new tool for fan engagement, gaming extensions and partner activations, strengthening FIFA's relationship with the Chinese audience more than ever. LaLiga Goes OTT in China Ahead of New Season The six-year strategic partnership with Beijing-based Streamline will offer free and paid-for games from Spain’s top two divisions through the launch of the LaLiga+ live streaming app in China. The league is understood to be negotiating further rights deals in the country, meaning the Streamline deal is non-exclusive. LaLiga recently terminated its media rights deal early with Super Sports Media. Read more on SportsPro (English) and Ecosports (Chinese) 💡 Mailman Take: A positive and forward-thinking move by LaLiga to become the first major European football league to launch its own OTT service in China, a market where Western rights holders have encountered plenty of problems recently from plummeting rights fees to platforms going bankrupt. LaLiga and Streamline’s first-of-its-kind strategic partnership will provide a new benchmark for all other rights holders with an investment or interest in China.


English Premier League Returns to CCTV The Premier League is returning to China's state broadcaster CCTV for the first time since 2020. A deal has not yet been formally announced, but the broadcaster has reportedly agreed to the league’s next three-season rights cycle, 2022-23 to 2024-25. Read more on SportBusiness (English) and Sports Money (Chinese) 💡 Mailman Take: Given the turbulent few years the Premier League has had in China with broadcasters, matched with a notable reduction in media rights fees, this is a smart move to ensure the EPL is hitting as many eyeballs as possible on the country’s most watched traditional sports channel. CCTV has reduced its sports content output in recent years, choosing to focus on global sporting events such as the Olympics and FIFA World Cup. EPL once again fits the bill for CCTV. Evergrande Lands $818M Stadium Rights Refund The struggling Chinese property developer has received $817.8M from a local government body for giving up land use rights for a football stadium development. Evergrande was building a 100,000-seater stadium on the site, planned to be a home for the Guangzhou FC football team. Read more on SportBusiness (English) Hong Kong Sevens to Return This Year The landmark event will be back from November 4 to 6, but is expected to be held with some restrictions. Players are to be shuttled between hotels and the ground with a closed-loop system in effect. Read more on SCMP (English) and Sohu (Chinese) CBA Plans October Return The Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) has unveiled the schedule for the forthcoming CBA League season. The season will begin with the CBA All-Star Weekend from October 2 to 4, whilst the regular season will then start on October 10, featuring 20 teams divided into groups of five based on the final standings from last season. Read more on SportBusiness (English) and Ecosports (Chinese) Nike China's Immersive AR Experience to Reconnect with Youth The digital experience aims to serve as an ever-growing archive of Nike’s collaborations with artists, launching collaborations with Matthew M. Williams, the creative director of luxury fashion Maison Givenchy and GDragon, a leading figure in Asian pop culture. Read more on The Drum (English) Golf Legend Feng Shan Shan Retires The popular Chinese golfer, former world No 1, major winner and Olympic bronze medallist thanked parents, coaches and ‘loving fans’ for support and pledged to give back to the game in China. Read more on SCMP (English) and Sports Money (Chinese) Chen Zhong Inducted into World Taekwondo Hall of Fame The first members of the World Taekwondo Hall of Fame have been officially announced. Chen Zhong, a Chinese Taekwondo star and two-time Taekwondo Olympic champion, was selected. Read more on Ecosports (Chinese)


🎮 Esports 69 New Chinese Games Receive Regulatory Approval Many major game companies obtained approval for publishing and operations, including YOOZOO Games, CMGE Technology, Shenzhen Zqgame, and iDreamSky, although Tencent and NetEase were not among them. Read more on Pandaily (English) and Ecosports (Chinese)


🤔 Need to Know KAWO’s Ultimate Social Media Marketing Cheatsheet (HD Image)


🎙️ From The Top

🗣 Tang Jiali, Professional Chinese Football Player for China's Women's National Team 1. What was your experience like playing at Tottenham Hotspur Football Club in England? My experience playing for the prestigious Tottenham Hotspur Football Club was incredibly valuable for me, especially in terms of improving my football ability and understanding of the game. It also helped make me more physically strong and competitive, something I had been made aware of before moving to England. Also, being away from my home country certainly made me more independent and confident in my daily life.

2. What do you think it is about English culture that makes the sport so popular and special in the country? Based on my experience playing in the country, English people are very passionate about the game. Most of my friends in England are football crazy and have extensive knowledge of the game. If there is a local game happening, they will for sure go and watch it. Most English people have a favourite team or player and a good understanding of football, so, maybe the more you know, the more you like it. 3. What do you think China can learn from English in terms of football culture and education? The biggest difference between Chinese and English football is that English football has much better use of techniques and tactics, as well as a better understanding of the game. The style of English football is certainly more direct and much more physical, which I believe is down to the physical qualities of English players being different from that of Chinese players. Actually, for modern football, both direct and non-direct styles of play are useful, depending on how we use them.


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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