Retired soccer star “China Sun” kicks off an online sports media startup

“China Sun”, Sun Jihai, the first Chinese soccer player to score in the Premier League for Manchester City, has found a new goal.

Beijing Renhe Football Club announced that Sun Jihai would officially retire. Aside from some uncovered injuries, he retired in order to focus on his future career – sports media.

According to Chinese tech blog Ifanr, Sun announced on Wednesday that his company Haiqiu Technology, or “Hi-Ball Technology”, has secured its Angel Plus investment, led by China Media Capital (CMC) and joined by Tencent and Yuanxun Investment. The next round of financing is already underway.


Haiqiu Technology follows a business model which is termed by Sun as “TMD”, with T standing for technology, M for media, and D for data. Sun believes that “internet + sports” has been gaining steam continuously, and that the young nowadays are more willing than ever to pay for sports entertainment.

Haiqiu Technology has a talk show called “Wo shi Hai Shu”, or “This is Uncle Hai” with “uncle Hai” referring to Sun Jihai. The company also runs a short-video social app called “Miaohai”, or “second-hi”. The app has gathered more than 2,000 sports stars and sports media figures, with over 500,000 registered users.

Screenshot of Jihai, the startup's soccer score app.
Screenshot of Jihai, soccer score app.

Another product of Haiqiu Technology is an app named “Jihai”, or “instant-hi”. It provides data on games as well as game analysis. Jihai will also be in charge of the marketing of sports IP that the company imports from overseas.

“If entrepreneurship is a soccer game, my game has just started,” Sun said.

The next ten years may witness a flourishing sports industry in China, which is expected to worth more than RMB five trillion, according to Chinese media

(Top photo from Baidu Images)

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