China’s Alibaba seeks sporting gold

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BEIJING: Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba is looking to turn its hundreds of millions of users into sportsmen as it seeks to cash in on the country’s growing sporting market, an executive said. The comments by Zhang Dazhong, chief executive of its Alisports unit, come as Chinese football clubs rank second only to English in spending during the winter transfer window and President Xi Jinping harbours dreams of winning a World Cup, and with the country set to host the 2022 Winter Olympics. Alibaba, which owns a 37 percent stake in Asian football champions Guangzhou Evergrande Taobao, launched Alisports in September to develop the sporting economy in “an innovative way with digital thinking,” according to its website.

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