China’s Billionaires Catch Soccer Investment Fever

    China may not have a place at the World Cup, but that doesn't mean Chinese soccer isn't seeing big profits from fans at home.
    Jing Daily
    Jing DailyAuthor
      Published   in Retail

    China’s soccer team may not have qualified for the World Cup finals going on right now, but that doesn’t mean Chinese billionaires don't see the sport as a valuable investment opportunity.

    Last week, the investment potential of Chinese soccer came into the forefront when Alibaba bought 50 percent of the highly profitable Guangzhou Evergrand team. According to a new Wall Street Journal report, Alibaba isn’t the only one who sees big potential in Chinese soccer: the three of China’s 10 richest people have all invested in the sport.

    In the video embedded above, The Wall Street Journal’s Wei Gu talks to Roy Lu, the president of sports entertainment agency Starline, Inc. about why China’s wealthy see such big potential in Chinese soccer despite its low global standing. As China’s middle class grows, its new members are seeking more entertainment and leisure activities, including sports. Lu states that you have to look at sports in China as “a live entertainment business” that’s focused on tickets and merchandizing—meaning that a team doesn’t have to have World Cup status to secure major profits.

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