Manchester United on Friday announced a partnership with China's technology giant Alibaba Group, boosting the club's engagement with its Chinese fanbase. The partnership will see Manchester United content, including selected first-team matches, highlights and localised original productions, available to around 700 million consumers across Alibaba's platforms, according to the Premier League club. There will also be a dedicated Manchester United channel on Alibaba's video-streaming platform, Youku.
It will feature Academy, women's and first-team tour games, plus first-team matches shown on-demand and global and China-specific content.
The partnership will also involve collaborating to create a future Manchester United flagship store on Tmall, Alibaba's online retail platform, which will become the official online marketplace store selling Manchester United merchandise to Chinese fans.
"We're proud of our passionate and loyal following around the world and our Chinese fans are a huge part of that," said Manchester United Group managing director Richard Arnold.
"We are always looking for new ways to engage with fans there and this partnership with Alibaba enables them to connect with the club directly through one of China's most popular video streaming platforms."
Alibaba Group president Michael Evans said: "Manchester United is one of the most popular and successful football teams in the world, with a sizable and passionate fan base in China.
"We share the same goal, which is to provide fans with one-of-a-kind online content consumption and shopping that leverages the latest technology."