Chinese internet business Baidu is reportedly paying $437 million for a 70 per cent stake in A.C. Milan.
CCTV channel reported, “Chinese investors’ overseas sport investments show an upward trend. Baidu CEO Robin Li’s team has achieved progress in negotiating with the Italian club A.C. Milan. (Li or Baidu) is expected to pay $437 million to acquire A.C. Milan”.
According to the channel, if the deal takes place then both the top teams in Milan will be Chinese-owned and place the buying prices below estimations.
It also said that the deal has come about because it’s become “fashionable” to buy top flight European football teams among China’s richest business people. It also claims it’s seen as a “show of support to President Xi Jinping”.
It’s not a trend anymore it’s a major shift in the football industry. Global clubs are not anymore owned by Western investments such as Manchester United, Liverpool or Asenal. The past few years showed new owners pitching in from markets such as Qatar, China or the UAE.
This major shift opens doors to new markets and new business opportunities. Who’s next?