May 2 – China’s leading social media platform Weibo has seen an 18% growth in sports teams, leagues and players using the site – there are now 1,200 official sports organisations on the platform.
Most popular football team on Weibo is 2015 Asian Champions League Winner Guangzhou Evergrande which heads its European rivals which are led by English Premier League Liverpool.
They are followed by Bayern Munich and then big spending Chinese Super League club Beijing Gouan. Next come Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal. Spanish clubs Barcelona and Real Madrid, giants of social media on twitter and Facebook, have not made the same inroads into China as yet.
While football clubs have a lead when it comes to teams, when it comes to leagues the NBA is the dominant force on Weibo, followed by the China Super league, the English Premier League and the Chinese University Basketball League.
The NBA has the two most engaged hashtags of the year, with a combined 9.1 billion reads.
As regards athletes, the top 10 positions are all filled by Chinese sports stars. The only non-Chinese athlete in the top 10 is basketball player Stephon Marbury.
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