“Sport and politics do not go together in China,” sights Marc van der Chijs, serial entrepreneur and marathon running, on his weblog, after he learned the Shanghai government kicked out Shanghai marathon sponsor Toray after 16-years, because the company is Japanese.
Marc van der Chijs:
For 16 years Toray has been the title sponsor and this year they would again sponsor the race. On Monday organizers held a press conference with Toray management and some Shanghai government officials present. The event just started when suddenly other government told the organizers to stop the press conference.
What happened? Because of the new tensions about the Diaoyu islands (or the Senkakus in Japanese) the government felt that it could not allow Japanese sponsorship for the Shanghai marathon. So in the middle of a press conference they decided to tell Toray that they could not continue their sponsorship! Even for me, after all these years in China, this is quite unbelievable. What will now happen to this year’s Shanghai Marathon I don’t know, the website is currently down…
Shanghai will likely get government sponsorship to make up for the lost revenue from Toray, but will likely lose a lot of its participants. Tons of them were Japanese, and not only will these runners cancel this year’s participation, they also won’t return next year. Sports and politics don’t go together.
- What does it take for an entrepreneur to succeed in China? – Marc van der Chijs (chinaspeakersbureau.info)