Tag Archives: Alibaba

Just what is going on at Alisports?

One canceled golf tournament might not, at first glance, seem like a huge deal, but a worrying trend of overreaching has dogged Alisports since its inception – and the cracks are starting to show.

Imagine it’s October 2016 and you’re the LPGA. You’ve just signed a ten-year deal with Alisports, giving them ownership rights of your most important tournament in China. All the usual cliches spring to mind – growing the game, millions of new fans, next generation of golfers etc – and you’re feeling pretty pleased with yourselves. It’s Alibaba – they’re one of the biggest companies in China, they know China, Jack Ma is basically Steve Jobs, they’ve got trillions of users etc. What could go possibly wrong?

It turns out the answer is as simple as a piece of paper. Continue reading Just what is going on at Alisports?

How money & influence are shaping eSports in China – and beyond

Money is often thought of as synonymous with power and influence – in sports as elsewhere – but it’s not often we see such a clear example of a sponsor brazenly attempting to assert their influence as we’ve seen recently in China.

Alisports, the sports wing of Chinese ecommerce giant Alibaba, last year announced  a $150 million investment into eSports through a partnership with the International eSports Federation (IeSF). That was followed up by a 10-year deal to promote the Chinese city of Changzhou as an eSports hub, with the city set to host a number of World Electronic Sports Games (WESG) events, offering total prize money of $5.5 million, while another Chinese city, Suzhou, was also designated by Alisports as a major international sports city, with eSports also a central part of that aim.

Continue reading How money & influence are shaping eSports in China – and beyond

Explained: What’s behind Chinese takeovers of football clubs

I spoke to Sky Sports reporter Johnny Phillips last week for a piece he did on the increasing amount of Chinese investment directed at English football clubs in recent weeks. Editors being as they are, only a few selected highlights appeared in the finished article, but we covered a lot of ground, so here is an uncut version (completed shortly before the Wolves deal – the latest of the Chinese takeovers – was announced), touching on why rumours spread so quickly, West Brom’s possible owner and his plans for world domination, Sven spouting nonsense and why Wolves fans are probably sleeping better than Villa ones at the moment.

Continue reading Explained: What’s behind Chinese takeovers of football clubs

AC Milan’s Chinese saga nears end as rumor mill grinds on

AC Milan is the latest in a long line of European football targets picked out by Chinese investors – and it won’t be the last.

On the football pitch, the Italians are known for a slow, tactical style that, while effective, can bore an opponent into submission.

Off the pitch, it may also be a similar story.

Continue reading AC Milan’s Chinese saga nears end as rumor mill grinds on

Suning’s Barca deal continues Chinese trend

Stories started to spread on Monday that Chinese home appliance chain Suning was set to buy a stake in Spanish megaclub Barcelona. If true, it would have blown news of Alibaba buying a 50% stake in Guangzhou Evergrande out of the water.

Barca Director General Antoni Rossich is flanked by Suning's EVP/GM Li Bin (L) and VP Sun Weiming (R)
Barca Director General Antoni Rossich is flanked by Suning’s EVP/GM Li Bin (L) and VP Sun Weiming (R)

Continue reading Suning’s Barca deal continues Chinese trend

The Ma the merrier for Guangzhou Evergrande

Jack Ma is no idiot – he presides over a company that is set to go public at an estimated value of $152 billion dollars – but Evergrande looks to have got the better of the deal that sees Alibaba take a 50% stake in Chinese Super League club Guangzhou Evergrande for $192 million.

The drinking continues: Evergrande's Xu Jiayin and Alibaba's Jack Ma
The drinking continues: Evergrande’s Xu Jiayin and Alibaba’s Jack Ma

Continue reading The Ma the merrier for Guangzhou Evergrande