Man Utd remain China’s favorite online

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Manchester United have kept the first place as the most popular team online in China, according to a new report.

Spanish giants Real Madrid are the second and Germany’s Bayern Munich in third.

The seventh edition of the Red Paper, which analyzes the influence of the top clubs in Europe, in China, social media, Arsenal fourth, and Liverpool fifth.

Germany’s Bundesliga remains the most influential league online, Barcelona, Lionel Messi is the player with the most social engagement.

The Argentine amassed more than a million new followers in China in 2017. He is ahead of Real Madrid rival Cristiano Ronaldo, who was the most important player of last year.

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Manchester United, Antonio Marziale is the third most important player, the team-mate Paul Pogba is the fourth, and the former Old Trafford star and current player of Everton, Wayne Rooney was fifth.

Several European teams have opened a permanent office open in China in the course of the last year, including Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund and Wolfsburg.

Weibo/Manchester United

The study took its data from Chinese social media platforms WeChat and Weibo, the latest cross between Twitter and Facebook, as well as audience figures from the live streams of the games and how the respective club web sites and applications for the country.

Manchester United media executive Phil Lynch said: “With more than 107 million followers, China is one of Manchester United’s most important markets and we have a long history of innovation and fan engagement in the region.

“Through the analysis of the data, geo-specific content creation and on-the-ground activities, we continue to be the most followed football club of China major social media platforms: Sina Weibo and WeChat.”

Neighbours Manchester City was the joint eighth in the list of the most popular clubs, Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur are joint tenth.