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  • Writer's pictureDenis Green

China Sports Business Weekly | 9th June

Hello Industry Friends, here is the very latest news and insights from China. 📰 Headlines: China doubles down on fitness goals, F1 and Tencent agree to a multi-year deal, WTA confirms China return, two Chinese snooker players are banned for life, village basketball goes nationwide, FIA events return to Macau, Lululemon bets big, Mailman launches Esports Red Card 2023.


🗞️ Top Industry News China Wants 15-min Fitness Circles by 2025 The 2023-2025 plan has been jointly issued and initiated by multiple governmental departments, with its main goal to achieve full coverage of public fitness facilities and 15-minute fitness circles in different levels of administrative units by 2025. The aim is to have at least one public stadium, track, fitness centre, sports park or venue built for a county-level administrative area with more than 200k permanent residents. Read more on Xinhua (English) and Global Times (Chinese) 💡 Mailman Take: This upgrade is an extension to the current 2021-25 fitness plan, ensuring construction goals are on track. Health and fitness have been a core component of China’s Government this year, and recovery signs post-opening up have been positive, with mass participation events full and live sports back in abundance. F1 and Tencent Announce Multi-year Partnership in China The deal will see Tencent stream F1 across its platforms through the 2024 season granting them rights to stream all practice and qualifying sessions, F1 Sprint events and Grands Prix. This will be across its digital platforms Tencent Sports, Tencent Video, Tencent News, OTT and QQ. Read more on Formula 1 (English) and Tencent (Chinese) 💡 Mailman Take: Tencent’s sports content is meager compared to years ago when Tencent Sports was one of the leading digital broadcast platforms. Having shifted away from sports in recent years, Tencent is only maintaining interest in a handful of sports, and is back in again for F1. Zhou Guanyu’s seat on the grid is no doubt the main reason for this. WTA Confirms China Return The Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) outlined the remainder of its 2023 calendar, detailing tournaments that will take place following the US Open through to the WTA Finals. The announcement includes seven events across mainland China and Hong Kong, starting with the Guangzhou Open WTA 250 tournament on September 18. Read more on SportBusiness (English) and (Chinese) Two Chinese Snooker Players Banned for Life for Match-fixing Having been found guilty of match-fixing and other charges, punishment is the latest crisis to engulf professional sports in China which has seen a host of match-fixing scandals across multiple disciplines in recent years. Read more on CNN (English) and NetEase (Chinese) China to Hold First Nationwide Village BA Tournament The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs and the General Administration of Sport announced that the country's first village basketball competition will be held starting from June. Read more on Global Times (English) and China Youth Net (Chinese) 💡 Mailman Take: The village basketball phenomenon has continued to break ground across the country, culminating in a nationwide competition. What started off as a rural, cultural event has now exploded, enticing big social platforms such as Kuaishou and big Western sports organisations such as the NBA. FIA Events to Return to Macau International Automobile Federation (FIA) sanctioned races will return to Macau for the first time since 2019 following the signing of a new hosting deal. The three-year deal has been reached between the FIA, Automobile General Association Macao-China and the Macau Grand Prix Organising Committee. Read more on SportBusiness (English) WorldSBK Signs Two-year Douyin Deal The FIM Superbike World Championship will receive live coverage on the ByteDance-owned platform through an agreement between series promoter Dorna WSBK Organization and China Sports Media. Read more on SportBusiness (English) Pro Wrestlers Return to China as Global Bouts Resume China's professional league, Middle Kingdom Wrestling (MKW), held its championship card of eight bouts, featuring both domestic and foreign contestants before a live audience. Read more on Reuters (English) and Sohu (Chinese) Lululemon Bets Big on Mainland Market for Growth The company will invest in new stores, expand online reach and strengthen its connection with China's sports-loving community. "The Chinese mainland market remains one of our largest international opportunities with significant runways. We are excited about the opportunities in the market in 2023 and beyond." Read more on China Daily (English) and Tencent (Chinese)


🤔 Opinion Report Finds 90% of Chinese Consumers Watch Livestreams Of the 4,112 consumers surveyed, 90% said they have browsed and/or purchased goods through watching livestreams. This is an impressively high result given that discussions on Chinese social commerce typically focus on millennials and new social media platforms. Read more on DAO (English) The KOLs Powering China’s Sportswear Boom China’s sportswear market is booming thanks, in part, to its homegrown influencers. It generated a Media Impact Value (MIV) of $1.2bn in 2022, up 52 percent year on year, according to a recent sportswear report by Launchmetrics. Read more on Jing Daily (English)


🎮 Esports Mailman Launches Esports Red Card 2023 Mailman launched the 3rd edition of the Esports Red Card: China Digital Performance Index. The report assesses the leading international esports teams and their performance across China’s dynamic digital ecosystem. It is a guide for industry professionals to understand best practices, emerging trends and make key decisions about digital engagement investment. Read more on Esports Insider (English)


China Game Market Forecast to Hit $57bn in 2027 Niko Partners' latest report on the Chinese game markets forecasts that it will hit over $57bn in revenue by 2027. The overall gaming market in China (console, PC and mobile) amounted to $45.5bn in 2022, despite legislative crackdowns and pandemic restrictions. And by 2027 China is expected to boast 730m players, with the current domestic split of gaming being 66% mobile, 31% PC and 3% PC games. Read more on Pocket Gamer (English) and Sina (Chinese)


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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