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NBA fans in China can access original content on Alibaba's Alipay

Partnership between NBA China and Alibaba's Ant Group will offer fans "customized" experience that include original video content and digital collectibles.
Written by Eileen Yu, Senior Contributing Editor
closeup of a basketball
Getty Images / StefanSTUDIO

NBA fans in China can access original online content on Alibaba's Alipay payment platform, including an NBA channel that features user-generated content from local influencers. 

Under a new partnership between NBA China and Alibaba's fintech business Ant Group, "customized" experiences will be produced for fans of the sport as well as users of Ant's digital platforms. These will include original video content, joint membership, and digital collectibles. 

The collaboration would facilitate NBA's digital engagement with its fans in China, with an NBA content matrix to be launched on the Alipay app, Ant said in a statement Tuesday. 

An NBA channel also was introduced last week on the mobile payment platform, featuring user-generated content produced by NBA China's ecosystem of influencers and Alipay's authorized content creators. 

NBA China CEO Michael Ma said both partners hoped to provide quality content services and user experience through digital services, blockchain, and other "user-friendly" technologies. 

The partnership extends to Ant's digital collectible platform Topnod, which NBA already had tapped over the past year to offer fans various themed collectibles. 

Ant's CTO and Alipay.com's chairman Ni Xingjun said Ant also would work with NBA to explore "creative digitalization models" in the service sector as well as joint membership activities. "We hope to build a young digital interactive platform for NBA fans in China and bring in new services and interactions in sports in the digital era," Ni said. 

NBA China has been operating on the mainland since January 2008 and offers licensed merchandise via retail and online stores on e-commerce and social media platforms in China. 

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