Beijing, 1 August 2014
Paris Saint-Germain and their official Chinese partner Huawei marked the club’s first Asian tour and the 50th anniversary of Franco-Chinese diplomatic relations by organising a unique get-together between the striker Edinson Cavani, team coach Laurent Blanc and the two-time Olympic and three-time world table tennis champion Wang Hao.
Last April, Huawei, a world leader in information and communication technologies (ICT), and Paris Saint-Germain, one of Europe’s biggest football clubs, announced they would be joining forces in a partnership over the next three seasons. Making the most of Paris Saint-Germain’s presence in the Chinese capital Beijing, Huawei and the Parisian club today launched that partnership at a highly symbolical and enjoyable event.
A meeting of cultures
Gathering at one of Beijing’s best-known locations, a number of media outlets and a group of fans selected by Huawei came together to attend the first meeting between the elite of French football and the cream of Chinese table tennis. Three champions and two different cultures met around a table-tennis table, with Wang Hao, China’s two-time Olympic table tennis champion and a diehard football fan, taking on the Parisian club’s star player, Edinson Cavani, a keen table tennis player himself. Looking on intently was Paris Saint-Germain coach Laurent Blanc.
The exhibition ended on a light-hearted note when Wang Hao swapped his racket for a Huawei Ascend P7, with the three champions then marking the moment by posing together for a group photo.
The world’s third-largest smartphone manufacturer, Huawei sees the partnership with Paris Saint-Germain as essential to its continuing drive to raise the profile of its smartphones in France and Europe. In doing so, the Chinese company is restating its ambition to become bigger by forging links with European football, an objective reflected by its partnerships with several of the continent’s most prestigious clubs.
This particular partnership is also a very important strategic move for the French club, which is looking to become one of the world’s leading sports brands and for whom China is a key market.
Speaking after the event, Paris Saint-Germain Vice-President Frédéric Longuépée said: “This first tour of Asia is a wonderful opportunity for us to meet our Chinese fans and develop close and commercial ties with a country that is a great friend of ours. The presence of Huawei by our side is something we are very proud of and it shows that our objectives are one and the same: to help everyone dream bigger.”
For his part, Richard Ren, the President of Huawei’s European Consumer Business Group said: “Huawei and Paris Saint-Germain share the same desire to keep on aiming higher, both in terms of technological innovation and in the sports industry. Huawei and Paris Saint-Germain are working hand in hand to provide their fans with an unforgettable experience.”