Tencent commits to build a Chinese FC Barcelona website / PHOTO: FCB

Barça consolidates its online leadership in the Chinese market thanks to Tencent, the principal Internet service provider in China. FC Barcelona and the Chinese company have agreed to work together to develop Barça’s brand in the Asian country, which will allow the Club to reach a massive audience and increase revenue. Director of New Technology Dídac Lee was “very satisfied” with the agreement and General Director Antoni Rossich said, “they are industry leaders in China, and they fit perfectly with our strategy.” Lee added, “on a personal level I’m doubly satisfied, because of my origins and beacuse this is in my field of work.”

Tencent has agreed to develop a new website for FC Barcelona in Chinese and to commercialise applications and mobile games using Barça’s brand. All content created by Tencent will be subject to Club approval.

The agreement also opens up Chinese social media sites to FC Barcelona. Tencent owns several social media sites that boast millions of users: QQ, with 900 million users, is the country's largest instant messaging platform; Qzone, has 500 million users; and Pengyou has 130 million users. In the short term, FC Barcelona will open a verified account on Tencent Weibo, known as the Chinese Twitter, this Tuesday. Tencent Wiebo has 300 million users.

Dídac Lee is convinced that the Internet is the ideal platform for Barça to expand throughout the world: “I believe that the best way for FC Barcelona to reach its fans globally is online, especially in China, where we are the preferred Club.”

Tencent (www.tencent.com), besides providing technology services, also adds online value with web portals, social media (leaders in China), online games, mobile applications, e-commerce and web advertising. Dídac Lee explained that this is the first time Tencent has signed “an agreement with global reach. . . Their executives have told us how satisfied they are, not only because we are a great Club, but because we also share common values.”

Helpful trip to China

Since Friday, FC Barcelona has been working on commercial and institutional agreements, like the Tencent deal, in Beijing and Shanghai. Members of the Club’s board of directors, led by Sandro Rosell, have participated in social events, like the China Foundation for Disabled Persons gala, and they have visited Pekin University and met with leaders from the country’s two most important cities.

Barça leading in new technology

With the agreement in China, FC Barcelona further consolidates its position as the leader in new technology. Barça is the leader on social networks: nearly 23 million fans on Facebook and 4.5 million followers on Twitter (accounts in Catalan, Spanish and English). Barça’s growth rate on these two social networks outpaces Facebook and Twitter’s own growth rate, and on YouTube, FC Barcelona boasts the largest sports channel in Spain.

Barça has established a strong digital strategy, presented a couple of weeks ago during the unveiling of www.fcbarcelona.cat, the most visited Spanish football site with over 100 million visits per year. Barça has also committed to improve its digital assets and mobile applications to better serve Club members and Barça fans.

Besides the agreement with Tencent, FC Barcelona also has deals with other technological firms, Telefónica I + D, to improve the digital experience at the Camp Nou; Google+, inclusion of FC Barcelona’s page for the global launch of business profiles; and UNICEF, amongst others.

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