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Chelsea to Launch Chinese Website
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English Premiership champions Chelsea on Tuesday announced that they will launch a new Chinese language website next year as they look to expand their marketing in Asia.

The London-based club have signed a deal with China's biggest internet service, SINA.com, which has more than 40 million hits a day, to set up the Mandarin language site through their redesigned website www.chelseafc.com.

Chelsea's popularity has grown in China since they won their first title in 50 years in 2005, and they successfully defended it last season.

Chelsea chief executive Peter Kenyon said: "China is a key market for us but our philosophy is to help Chinese football, as well as our own business, and our partnership with SINA will reflect that."

Business affairs director Paul Smith added: "This partnership marks the next stage of Chelsea's development in China. Clearly we are becoming more popular and this is the right time to take that to the next level."

The club is ranked fourth of all foreign clubs in terms of popularity in China narrowly behind Manchester United and ahead of Spanish giants Barcelona and Real Madrid.

Chelsea already have partnerships in China and last April began cooperating with the Chinese Football Association and the Asian Football Confederation to develop football at local level.

(China Daily November 30, 2006)

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