Alibaba, Other Chinese Sponsors Respond to Tokyo 2020 Delay

ZHANG YUSHUO

(Yicai Global) March 26 — Alibaba Group Holding and several other Chinese sponsors of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games have now disclosed how they plan to react to the one-year postponement of the quadrennial sports event due to Covid-19.

E-commerce giant Alibaba, which in 2017 penned a cloud and e-commerce sponsorship deal with the International Olympic Committee lasting until 2028, is using its digital tech to help fight the Covid-19 and is continuing to prepare for the Games, the Hangzhou-based firm said online yesterday.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced on March 24 that the Olympic Games would be delayed. The decision will be costly to many organizations, including the host city, sponsors, broadcasters and partners, according to an industry source. Media forecasts predict the delay could cost the Japanese economy about USD6 billion directly.

The pandemic is just a temporary blip, Anta Sports Chief Executive Ding Shizhong said in the firm’s annual report, published the same day as Shinzo’s announcement. As China begins to bounce back from the virus, Anta has already opened most of its stores and all of its factories, with contract manufacturers back to 90 percent of usual production. The firm expects to be back to normal in the second half and has not relinquished its goal of achieving CNY100 billion (USD14.1 billion) in revenue by 2025.

Anta became the International Olympic Committee’s official sports clothing supplier until the end of 2022 in October last year, and will provide IOC members and staff with equipment, including sportswear, shoes and accessories, for the duration of the agreement.

Beijing Caissa International Travel Service, one of the Games’ official ticketing agencies, will be unaffected so long as the 2020 Olympics still go ahead, Beijing News cited the firm as saying.

Editor: James Boynton

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