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NHL furthers Chinese strategy with Dongtu launch

North American ice hockey league the NHL has stepped up its engagement with the Chinese market by agreeing a partnership with micro-content platform Dongtu.

The NHL claims it is the first-ever sports league to launch an official account on the platform and has so far received 83 million GIF views.

David Proper, NHL executive vice-president of media and international strategy, said: “With the launch of this account, the NHL will be poised to make available even more League content to our fans throughout China.”

Dongtu is the largest micro-content network in China. It boasts 75 billion views per month and is integrated into 3,000-plus apps, including QQ, WeChat, Taobao, MoMo and TanTan.

The NHL has been quickly growing its digital footprint in China having recently launched official accounts on Bytedance-owned short-form video platform Douyin and news aggregator Jinri Toutiao, as well as its established WeChat and Weibo channels.

The new partnerships come ahead of Beijing’s hosting of the 2022 winter Olympic and Paralympic Games

NHL games are available in China via exclusive digital broadcast partner Tencent and on CCTV5+ for broadcast television.

The NHL has staged four preseason games in China over the past two years. In 2017, the Los Angeles Kings and Vancouver Canucks played games in Shanghai and Beijing, while the Boston Bruins and Calgary Flames last year competed in Shenzhen and Beijing.