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SBD Global/July 10, 2013/Marketing and Sponsorship

Chinese Taipei Tennis Player Hsieh Su-Wei Eyes Sponsorship Switch

Taipei's Hsieh Su-Wei, left, and China's Peng Shuai won the Wimbledon doubles title Saturday.
Chinese Taipei tennis player Hsieh Su-wei is "mulling giving up her citizenship to represent China's mainland, where she could receive a much bigger sponsorship deal," according to the AFP. Hsieh's father made the announcement after her "historic win" in the Wimbledon women's doubles contest. The "hard-won triumph" made Hsieh the first Chinese Taipei tennis player ever to grab a Grand Slam title. However, Hsieh's father, Hsieh Tze-lung, "took the public by surprise when he said his daughter may give up her citizenship to represent China's mainland" in exchange for an annual 10M yuan ($1.6M) sponsorship deal "offered by a Chinese brewery." The deal "would dwarf the 27-year-old's current total annual sponsorship income" of just $50,000, a sum "paid by two local companies" (AFP, 7/9). In Hong Kong, Amy Li reported Peng Shuai and Hsieh "were finally forced to confront the elephant in the room" at a press conference after they beat Australian duo Ashleigh Barty and Casey Dellacqua at Wimbledon on Saturday. And when they did, "the divide was apparent." When a Japanese reporter asked Taiwan’s Hsieh what it means to win a grand slam for “her country” as a “Taiwanese” person, their conversation "was interrupted by Peng." Peng said, "I am sorry, but I am still sitting here, and I don’t accept the claim that Taiwan is a ‘country.’” Peng also said "she and Hsieh would not broach the topic in private." Peng's comment "was met with mixed reaction on China’s blogosphere." While some applauded her for being “patriotic,” others "criticised her for embarrassing her partner in front of a room of reporters" (SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST, 7/9).
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