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  • Writer's pictureAndrew Collins

China Sports Weekly Brief: April 14

Here are the top 10 Chinese sports business news stories that you need to know from this week:

1. Alisports raised RMB 1.2 billion in A series funding

Apr 12, 2017

Alisports, the sports arm of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, has landed a series A worth more than RMB 1.2 billion. The funding round, led by Yunfeng Fund (Jack Ma’s VC firm), puts Alisports’ valuation at RMB 7 billion. Other investors include Taiping Guofa (Suzhou) Capital Management and Shanghai Qianheng Venture Capital.

2. Shimao Group becomes new regional sponsor of FC Barcelona

April 13,2017 Real estate company Shimao Group becomes a regional partner of FC Barcelona from April 2017 until 2019. FC Barcelona and Shimao Group announced a strategic cooperation agreement by which the property development company has become a Regional Sponsor of the football club through to 2019. This latest deal furthers FC Barcelona’s expansion into China, whereby it shall be joining forces with Shimao to continue to promote social and sporting excellence. In future, FC Barcelona and Shimao Group will also collaborate in other areas, such as cultural and sporting development, social responsibility and better lifestyles among Chinese people.

3. Sina Sports signs content deals with US golf tours April 12, 2017

China’s leading sports media company, Sina Sports, has secured content partnerships with golf’s PGA Tour and the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA). The deal will see Sina Sports provide short-form video content from both US-based organisations on its platforms in China. The agreement includes full highlights of tour events as well as player interviews, behind-the-scenes footage and tournament recaps. Sina Sports will also work to promote the content on its Sina Weibo social platform, while Sina Golf will continue to serve as the official online destination for the LPGA in China.

4. AC Milan sold for €740m to Chinese consortium April 13, 2017 Chinese investors Rossoneri Sport Investment Lux have completed the £628m (740m euro) takeover of AC Milan, promising “significant capital increases”. The Serie A club has been owned by former Italy prime minister Silvio Berlusconi since 1986.

5. Stephen Curry passes Kobe Bryant for top jersey sales in China

April 13, 2017

According to the sale numbers from and other online flagship stores, Golden State Warriors’ reigning MVP, Stephen Curry, claimed China’s best-selling jersey, which was most recently held by former Lakers talisman Kobe Bryant. While Bryant took second place in jersey sales and Michael Jordan remained No. 3 overall, 5 of the top 15 players in jersey sales are former NBA standouts. Allen Iverson (No. 7), Tim Duncan (No. 9) and Tracy McGrady (No. 11) also claimed top sales.

6. DDMC intends to acquire Super Sports Media Group April 11, 2017

On 11th April 2017, Wuhan DDMC Culture Co. Ltd. (DDMC) officially announced that it intends to purchase Super Sports Media Group so as to acquire 100% equity of Super Sports Media Inc.. Super Sports Media Group, co-founded by IDG Capital Partners and Eida Media Inc, obtained the exclusive broadcasting rights of the English Premier League from 2010/11 to 2018/19. However, Suning Sports has acquired the whole media rights on the Chinese mainland and in Macao from 2019 to 2022 at a cost of 72.1 million dollars (around 5 billion yuan).

7. CS:GO to Launch in China with Severe Anti-Cheating Penalties

April 12, 2017

It announced that a legitimate, localised version of CS:GO game will launch April 18 in open beta, with its own extremely strict anti-cheating rule set. A set of translated slides from the Beijing launch conference, shared on Reddit, show the Chinese version of the game will use Valve’s anti-cheat software. Players must also use the Alipay credit system to link CS:GO with their personal identification number, phone number and banking account. Get caught using third-party cheating software, and not only will you be permanently banned from the game, but customers’ credit rating may be negatively affected.

8. Beijing Winter Olympic Committee looking for bank partners

April 10, 2017

Beijing Winter Olympic Committee announced that from early this week they are looking for official partners in bank category, which will be the top-level partnership with the Olympic and Paralympic Committee. The opportunities are open to all domestic and international banks which get authorised by the China Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC).

9. LeSports intends to go IPO in Hong Kong in 2018

April 13, 2017

According to Sina technology news, LeSports is in the conversation with investment banks and initiated the IPO plan in 2018 in Hong Kong. LeSports didn’t have an official comment on their IPO status.

10. ORG Packaging teams up with NHL China games

April 13, 2017

NHL announced a five-year partnership deal with ORG Packaging Company for all the pre-season games in China from 2017. ORG has been the official partner of the NHL’s Boston Bruins since 2016. As a leading packaging company in China, ORG aims to help grow the sport of hockey as well as educate North American residents about the growth of hockey in this new market.

Mailman is the leading China sports marketing platform. We help global rights holders, athletes, and leagues build a successful business in China. We serve, invest and partner with our clients at every opportunity.

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