WWE issued the following press release to Prowrestling.net on Thursday to announce business deals in China and the addition of a Chinese wrestler to developmental.
WWE ushered in a new era in China today, announcing an exclusive multi-year content distribution agreement with PPTV; the return of a WWE live event to Shanghai on Saturday, September 10, 2016 at 7 pm; and Bin Wang as the first-ever Chinese talent signed to a developmental contract. The historic announcements were made today at the Mercedes-Benz Arena in Shanghai by WWE Chief Revenue & Marketing Officer Michelle D. Wilson, WWE Superstar John Cena®, WWE Vice President & General Manager of Greater China Jay Li, WWE Executive Vice President, Talent, Live Events & Creative Paul “Triple H®” Levesque, Vice President of PPTV, General Manager of PPTV Sports Stephen Zhang and CEO of Shanghai Expo Development Ltd. Ding Hao.
“Today’s historic announcements further demonstrate WWE’s long-term commitment to China,” said WWE Chairman & CEO Vince McMahon. “Partnerships with PPTV and Expo Group, as well as the signing of Bin Wang, will enable us to engage our fans in China like never before.”
As part of WWE’s commitment to its fans in China, the company announced an exclusive multi-year agreement with PPTV to deliver its flagship shows Raw® and SmackDown® in Mandarin.
Starting June 28, for the first time ever, fans in China will be able to stream all three hours of Raw and two hours of SmackDown on demand exclusively on PPTV and PPTV Sports. Fans can download the PPTV App and watch Raw and SmackDown on Smart TV’s, set-top boxes, mobile devices and tablets, as well as on PPTV.com and Sports.PPTV.com. In addition, WWE short-form content will be available on PPTV’s digital platforms and PPTV will leverage popular digital and social platforms, including WeChat and Sina Weibo, to share WWE content with fans throughout China. PPTV will also launch and manage a new WWE website in China.
“There’s a long history between PPTV Sports and WWE in programming distribution. Now with the new exclusive partnership, these joint efforts will bring passion and family-friendly fun of WWE programing to millions of fans here in China just like in the U.S.,” said Stephen Zhang, General Manager of PPTV Sports.
WWE LIVE EVENT
WWE returns to China with its first live event in more than three years with WWE Live 2016 China on Saturday, September 10 at 7 pm at the Mercedes-Benz Arena. Tickets for WWE Live 2016 China will go on sale this Saturday, June 18 at 12 pm and can be purchased online at www.gewara.com and www.wesai.com, or by calling the Gewara ticket hotline at 1010 1068. WWE Superstars scheduled to appear include current WWE World Heavyweight Champion Roman Reigns, current WWE Women’s Champion Charlotte and WWE Superstars John Cena, Seth Rollins and Sasha Banks.
“WWE’s China debut rocked Shanghai Expo in 2010, and now we are excited that deafening cheers from WWE fans will be heard again in 2016 at the Mercedes-Benz Arena,” said Ding Hao, CEO of Expo Group.
WWE made history today by signing Bin Wang to a developmental contract, giving him the opportunity to train to become the first-ever Chinese Superstar in WWE history. At 6-foot-3, 220 pounds, the 22-year-old from Anhui has been training for the past two years in Japan at Inoki Genome Federation (IGF), a wrestling and MMA promotion founded by WWE Hall of Famer Antonio Inoki.
Wang will relocate to Orlando, Florida this Sunday, June 19, where he will begin training out of the state-of-the-art WWE Performance Center. With seven training rings, a world-class strength and conditioning program and cutting-edge edit and production facilities, the Performance Center will allow Wang to develop his skills through a comprehensive program that includes in-ring training, physical preparedness and character development.
“It is an honor to be the first-ever Chinese talent in WWE history,” said Bin Wang. “There are no fans in the world that show the same passion as the WWE Universe, and I look forward to training and developing my skills so I can perform for them in the future.”
Powell’s POV: WWE has been attempt to enter the Chinese market for quite some time and these are definitely big steps. However, there’s no mention of WWE Network being available in China yet, so one would think that there’s still work left to be done.