The IIHF expands its digital offerings to sports fans in the world’s most populous country, to show the very best of international men’s and women’s ice hockey to Chinese audiences and interact with fans in China via the popular Chinese social media platforms Wechat, Weibo, Douyin and Kuaishou.
“The IIHF is excited to break into a new horizon and a new audience in digital media. With the Olympics in Beijing just around the corner, there is no better time than now to create new touchpoints for Chinese audiences to familiarize themselves with ice hockey. We look forward to delivering great content to showcase the fastest team sport in the world,” said IIHF President Luc Tardif.
The new presence on social media platforms in China will enable the IIHF a chance to reach the growing Chinese ice hockey community and give fans of the sport easier access to international hockey content, to follow IIHF events, learn the game with hockey tutorials, and potentially stream games of Chinese national teams in different categories of the IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship program. A recent test stream on Weibo with two games during the Women’s Final Olympic Qualification on Weibo was watched by 79,000 fans.
China has been a member of the IIHF since 1963. For decades ice hockey was most popular in the northern hockey hotbeds of Harbin and Qiqihar and China qualified for Olympic ice hockey twice with its women’s team, in Nagano 1998 and Vancouver 2010. In Beijing 2022 the host country will compete both in the men’s and women's ice hockey tournaments.
With the country’s ambitions of using the 2022 Olympics to make winter sports more popular and the opening of new ice rinks across the country, the Chinese ice hockey family has grown in recent years and includes now over 13,000 registered players. A number that can grow with the Olympics on home ice in Beijing and getting better access to hockey content online.