China’s ambitions to become a world leader in professional sports are no secret. As part of a far-reaching economic reform plan, the country declared four years ago it would grow its sports industry into an $817 billion juggernaut by 2025.
China placed special emphasis on soccer. In fact, government leaders announced a 50-point plan three years ago to become a “superpower” in the sport by 2050. President Xi Jinping, a soccer fan who played in his youth, said at the time: “My biggest hope for Chinese soccer is that its teams become among the world’s best."
Originally published on December 14, 2018 in Law 360.
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