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Chinese companies ramp up their efforts in Sport industry

By He Lanying Monday, 21 Dec 2015 17:30

The Chinese government last year mapped out a plan which aims to grow its sports sector into a 5-trillion-yuan (about 813 billion U.S. dollars) industry by 2025. The growing expectations have drawn huge investment into the sector.

Wanda Group

Chinese billionaire Wang Jianlin never conceals his ambition to build a world leading sports company.

Wang's Wanda Group has set up the Wanda Sports Company, an integration of sports marketing company Infront Sports & Media and World Triathlon Corporation (WTC).

Setting up the company was Wang's latest move to seize a big slice of the Chinese sports industry cake, which seems all the more lucrative after Beijing won the right to host the 2022 Winter Olympic Games. 

In less than a year, Wanda bought a stake in Spanish La Liga champions Atletico Madrid, merged with Infront and then bought WTC in August, spending about 11.6 billion yuan (about 1.85 billion U.S. dollars) in this area.

Alibaba Group

E-commerce giant Alibaba’s desire to get a foothold in sports is no secret as they first paid 1.2 billion yuan (about 192 million U.S. dollars) for a 50% stake in Guangzhou Evergrande, China's most successful soccer club and two-time Asian Champions League winners.

The Chinese e-commerce giant has business co-operations with German champions Bayern Munich, Spanish giants Real Madrid and NBA star Kobe Bryant. It then launched its own sports company in September to focus on professional sports. Most recently, Alibaba has also established a partnership with FIFA for the Club World Cup and it is believed the Chinese company would contribute to the potential hosting of a FIFA Club World Cup in China. 


The latest headline made by China Media Capital (CMC) is that it has agreed to buy a 13% stake in City Football Group, which owns Manchester City FC, New York City FC and Melbourne City FC, for US$400M (around £265m). Though a relative newcomer in the sports industry, the company has become an active player in the sector. Last month the company officially announced its 8 billion yuan acquisition of broadcasting rights to the Chinese Super League for the next five years.

Other Chinese companies have also jumped on the bandwagon by mapping out their respective plans on the sports business as well.

Le Sports

Le Sports never conceals the revolutionary side in its genes. The company has experienced rapid development by making an aggressive and bold move towards the top sports rights. The company says it has acquired the broadcasting rights to over 200 blue-ribbon sports events but it doesn’t stop there. Just a week ago, the company announced that it had been awarded the naming rights to Beijing’s iconic sports stadium, the Wukesong Arena, with the aim of building it into a world-class hi-tech sports and entertainment center.  

Tencent Sports has secured a five-year, 500 million dollar deal to exclusively live stream the NBA. Sunning backed PPTV Sports has sealed a deal to exclusively broadcast La Liga games across all platforms in China for a 250 million euro fee. Sina Sports has also laid out their map for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio. 

The above Chinese companies are challengers and front-runners in their respective fields and their ramped-up efforts in the sports business are evidence of just how big the cake can be.  

Source: Xinahua

Proofread by John Devlin



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