Chinese fans’ engagement with football: transnationalism, authenticity and identity

Sullivan, J, Zhao, Y, Chadwick, SM ORCID: and Gow, M 2021, 'Chinese fans’ engagement with football: transnationalism, authenticity and identity' , Journal of Global Sport Management, 7 (3) , pp. 427-445.

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Football in China is undergoing an unprecedented expansion, the result of targeted industrial policy, private sector investment, and the increased popularity of the world’s most popular game in the world’s most populous nation. Yet, as China’s own football infrastructure matures and foreign clubs seek to establish new fanbases there, little is known about Chinese football fans themselves, the ways in which they express their fandom, or the methods by which they consume football. This study aims to take a first step in identifying and exploring football fandom in the People’s Republic of China, with a view to critically understanding the context out of which it has emerged, and its likely trajectory of development in the short-to-medium term. Adopting an inductive approach to survey research to explore the attitudes, behaviours and activities of Chinese football fans, an online survey resulting in 710 usable responses was conducted on a Chinese online survey platform Wenjuanxing (问卷星) for three weeks in March 2018. Our research identifies similarities with fandom found elsewhere in the world, yet with key differences generally characteristic of Chinese football fans resulting from the geography, distance and league structures of China’s domestic football infrastructure. A tendency to support more than one club, often one domestic and one foreign club, is also noted, with distinct methods of consumption which eschew traditional forms such as match attendance.

Item Type: Article
Schools: Schools > Salford Business School
Journal or Publication Title: Journal of Global Sport Management
Publisher: Informa UK Limited
ISSN: 2470-4075
SWORD Depositor: Publications Router
Depositing User: Publications Router
Date Deposited: 14 Sep 2022 09:58
Last Modified: 14 Sep 2022 09:58

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