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  • Writer's pictureDenis Green

China Sports Business Weekly | 6th May

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

📰 Headlines: Hangzhou Asian Games postponed, Youku lands BWF rights, China launches online fitness games, physical education overtakes English, Toto Wolff wants more China races, WTA not interested in returning to China, tech sector cuts staff, and IP locations become public domain.


🗞️ Top Industry News

Hangzhou Asian Games Postponed The Olympic Council of Asia said on Friday that the 19th Asian Games scheduled to be held in China's Hangzhou from September 10 to 25, 2022, will be postponed. Read more on CGTN (English) and CCTV (Chinese)

💡 Mailman Take: One of the few sporting events that stood a chance of taking place in mainland China this year has now been now postponed, meaning the rest of 2022 looks bleak in terms of live events. Focus will now shift to 2023, with the summer AFC Asian Cup the standout tournament set to take place. Or will it? Youku Lands Five-Year BWF Rights Deal The streaming service owned by Alibaba has acquired media rights to Badminton World Federation events. The agreement includes the BWF World Championships, the Thomas Cup, the Uber Cup and the Sudirman Cup. Read more on SportBusiness (English) and Xinhua (Chinese)


China Launches National Online Fitness Games China's General Administration of Sports and several sports departments launched the "National Online Fitness Games'' on April 28 to provide the public with the opportunity to showcase themselves, promote sports, and provide fitness guidance for people locked down at home. A large number of athletes and celebrities joined in the games to help encourage more people to join. Read more on Lanxiong Sports (Chinese) 💡 Mailman Take: Stringent lockdowns across the country have halted China’s plans to encourage more people to get involved in outdoor fitness activities. The country’s call to athletes and celebrities to help inspire those locked down to exercise will help in the short term, but if lockdowns continue, China will not reach its goal for the number of people involved in fitness activities for a while.

PE Becomes Third Major Subject at Elementary & Middle School In the newly revised compulsory education curriculum and standards, the percentage of total physical education (PE) hours surpassed English as the third most important subject in primary and middle high schools. Chinese and maths are the first two major subjects. Read more on (Chinese) 💡 Mailman Take: A positive sign for sports in the country and one that will encourage more youngsters to get involved. There’s been a notable shift away from loading students with too much homework and extra study classes, delivering further opportunities for sports organisations to integrate their expertise and programs into classes, such as the NHL has done with their well received ball hockey program. Toto Wolff Calls for China to Host More Races Formula 1 should stage three races per season in China when it returns to the country after a four-year hiatus, according to Mercedes chief executive and team principal Toto Wolff, who said it would be “great” if China were to host as many races as the US in future seasons. Read more on SportBusiness (English) and Sports Money (Chinese) WTA Not Returning to China This Year The Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) has not yet come to a resolution in the standoff with China over the Peng Shuai issue, and will not return to China this year, Tour chief Steve Simon said. Read more on Reuters (English) China Gives Up Hosting Weightlifting World Championships The International Weightlifting Federation named Colombia as the new host nation of its 2022 Senior World Championships. The IWF had initially awarded its 2022 World Championships to Chongqing in September 2019. It would have been the first time China had hosted the World Championships since Guangzhou’s event in 1995. Read more on SportBusiness (English) Chengdu FISU World University Games to be Postponed Again The event, originally due to take place last year, had already been put back to late June

Sources in Chengdu say promotional work has been stopped and volunteers stood down. Read more on SCMP (English)

Wanda Sports to Promote Chinese Road Cycling League The Chinese Cycling Association has appointed the sports marketing entity to organise and promote a new national road cycling league. Wanda agreed to a five-year agreement with the association. Read more on SportBusiness (English) and Sports Money (Chinese)


🎮 Esports Huya Cuts Hundreds of Staff The Chinese video game streaming site has started laying off staff, according to inside sources, as more of the country's technology companies scale back following regulatory crackdowns. The company's Nimo TV unit is most heavily affected with large staff cuts already implemented. Read more on Reuters (English) and Sina (Chinese)


🗞️ Other News

Chinese Social Media Makes Users’ IP Locations Public

It’s getting harder to fake your location with China’s major social platforms stepping up efforts to make Internet users’ IP territory available to the public. The IP display feature has been rolled out on Weibo with users’ IP locations visible both on their profile page and in their comments on others’ posts. Read more on DAO (English) and NetEase (Chinese) Li Ning Announces Cooperation With NFT Brand Bored Ape China's premier sports brand has gained the ownership of a non-fungible token (NFT) number #4102 of the Bored Ape Yacht Club for creative design based on its brand characteristics and current popular elements. Read more on Equalocean (English)


🤔 Opinion Is China Excited About the Hello Kitty x Nike Rerelease? Back in 2004, Hello Kitty celebrated its 30th anniversary by dropping a collaboration with Nike. Originally, there was supposed to be a limited batch of 500 pairs released, but in the end, there were just 12 pairs of the four colorways given to family and friends. Now, almost 20 years on, the famously elusive “unicorn” sneakers are being rereleased on May 2. Read more on Jing Daily (English)


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