There’s no way of ignoring the rise of Chinese investment in the world of football. The Chinese managed to own clubs across several countries in Europe: England, France, Italy, and Spain.
Although those clubs have embraced the input of Chinese money, when it comes to fan engagement most of them are lacking one simple component, making the club’s official website accessible in Chinese.
Here’s a breakdown of Chinese owned/Partially owned football clubs and their official website Languages:
West Bromwich Albion- Owned by Guochuan Lai. He is also the owner of the company that was set up mainly to purchase West Brom, Yunyi Guokai Sports Development Limited. The club’s official website is only available in English.
Aston Villa- Owned by Tony Xia. Chairman of Recon Group. The Club’s official website is available only in English.
Wolverhampton Wanderers- Owned by Fosun International, a Chinese conglomerate, and investment company. Official website only in English.
Birmingham City- Owned by Trillion Trophy Asia. Official website only in English.
City Football Group- This is the group that Manchester City is owned by. The group sold 13% to Chinese Media Capital, 13%. Man City’s website is available in several languages with Chinese among them.
A.C. Milan- Still held by Fininvest, Silvio Berlusconi’s company. However, The Financial Times reported back in August this year that a deal has been agreed to sell the club to the Sino-Europe Investment Group. The Club’s official website is available in Chinese alongside Italian and English.
Inter Milan- Electronics retailer Suning Commerce Group holds nearly 70% of the club. The club’s official website is available in Chinese alongside Italian, English, Spanish, Japanese and Indonesian.
Ogc Nice: Current Ligue 1 leaders. 80% owned by International Investment Group which consists of Chines owners. The club’s official website is available in French and English.
Olympique Lyonnais- 20% of the club was sold to IDG Capital Partners. The club’s official website is available in French and English.
AJ Auxerre- Chinese ORG Packaging has bought 60% of the Ligue 2 club. The club’s official website is available only in French.
F.C. Sochaux-Fully owned by Ledus, a led lighting company. The Club’s official website is available in French and English
Atletico Madrid- 20% of the club is owned by Wang Jianlin, chairman of a property company, Dailan Wanda. The club’s official website is available in Spanish, English, and Chinese.
RCD Espanyol- 54% of the club was sold to Chen Yansheng, owner of Rastar Group. The club’s official website is available in Chinese.
It may not seem a big issue not to have an official website in Chinese, but when the popular social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and much more are blocked in china.Some of those clubs have overcome this obstacle by opening accounts on the parallel Chinese platforms such as Weibo. However,using the official website as a source of fan engagement is crucial.