Did China really ban golf or not?

Headlines last week left readers with little doubt about the state of golf in China:

Pretty clear, right? Well, actually, no. As this article from shougolf.com points out [in Chinese], it turns out that the Washington Post and the BBC (its two main targets) and others jumped the gun somewhat on their “China bans golf/golf club memberships” headlines.

Picture courtesy of CNN
Picture courtesy of CNN

Continue reading Did China really ban golf or not?

Astonomical CSL broadcast deal stuns China’s sports industry

CCTV, IMG and Infront – all huge names in the sports industry – were among the suitors to buy the rights to produce and broadcast the Chinese Super League. But these three, and others, were obliterated by the bid submitted by the comparatively little known Tiao Power, worth a staggering 8 billion yuan over five years.

CSL money Continue reading Astonomical CSL broadcast deal stuns China’s sports industry

China’s medal contenders

iaaf-world-championships-beijing-20151The World Athletics Championships kick off in Beijing today, with the world’s media focusing more on the doping allegations that have engulfed the sport than on the sporting action. This is completely understandable, given the revelations that have come out in recent weeks – for example, that one third of the athletes who competed at the 2011 World Champs in South Korea had suspicious tests during the previous 12 months.

However, Chinese media – led by national broadcaster CCTV – have been putting more of a positive spin on things, as is their government-directed wont. Wall-to-wall coverage of former meets (including the 2008 Beijing Olympics) has been shown on sports channel CCTV-5 in recent days, educating and encouraging the public in equal measures, in the hope that they embrace these championships.

2004 Olympic champion Liu Xiang
2004 Olympic champion Liu Xiang

The problem is: Liu Xiang, China’s 110m hurdles 2004 Olympic champion and the sport’s only real domestic star, recently retired.

Here is a list of all the Chinese contenders hoping to step into Liu’s size 11s: Continue reading China’s medal contenders

Beijing vs Almaty: The Final Countdown

In a few hours’ time, IOC President Thomas Bach will announce either China’s capital, Beijing, or Kazakhstan’s largest city, Almaty, as the host of the 2022 Winter Olympic Games. Here are some reasons why China should be confident of success – and some reasons to worry:

Beijing 2022
Why Beijing will win
Continue reading Beijing vs Almaty: The Final Countdown

Why Beijing Will Win the 2022 Olympics – and Why It Shouldn’t

All the talk in this part of the world is how China is bound to win the 2022 Olympics, given that its only rival in this two-horse race is so nondescript that many haven’t even heard of it, let alone be able to place it on a map (for the record, Almaty is in Kazakhstan, only a few hundred miles from the Chinese border).

But there is one very obvious hurdle here: this is a Winter Games, and while Almaty was described in the IOC’s evaluation commission report (ECR) as “a winter sports city, with easy access to the mountains and some world-class winter sports venues”, check out pictures from the same ECR of where China’s bid plans to hold the skiing event:

Skiing courses

Continue reading Why Beijing Will Win the 2022 Olympics – and Why It Shouldn’t

China Sports Insider Ep. 6 – Soccer Reforms in China

This is a studio discussion I did alongside the always excellent Rowan Simons, who – literally – wrote the book on this, on CCTV last week after the new soccer reforms in China were announced.

For previous episodes of China Sports Insider, please click below:

China’s First Sporting “Tiger” Caught?

How’s this for a conspiracy theory? With Chinese President Xi Jinping’s anti-corruption campaign showing no signs of abating, and all manner of tigers and flies being caught in the net, a particular target of the crackdown is the gambling mecca of Macao, which had grown so fast it was bringing in SEVEN times as much as Vegas as of a year ago.

Zou Shiming - down, and maybe out
Zou Shiming – down, and maybe out

Continue reading China’s First Sporting “Tiger” Caught?

China’s Unrealistic World Cup Dream

Chinese President Xi Jinping can do many things, but bringing a World Cup to China won’t be one of them.

We’ve covered Xi’s love of soccermanufactured or otherwise – several times here on China Sports Insider, but the subject is back in the news again after his recent comments on promoting the game in China. First thoughts are the moves being made do look like sensible, long-term overhauls, rather than the short-term, quick fixes that government officials have previously initiated solely to gain attention and/or promotion (see Beckham, David).

China's President Xi Jinping receives an Argentine soccer jersey with his name on it  from Argentina's Vice President Amado Boudou in Buenos Aires Continue reading China’s Unrealistic World Cup Dream

Sports business news and analysis in China and Asia