IPL 2020 still having Chinese connections with Dream 11 title sponsorship?

Dream 11 will now be the title sponsors for IPL but there are whispers that Tencent, that have invested in the company are from China and that has not pleased many people on social media.

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IPL 2020 still having Chinese connections with Dream 11 title sponsorship?
Dream 11 will be the title sponsors of IPL 2020 but they also have a Chinese connection with Tencent investing USD 100 million into their Fantasy app.


IPL 2020 finally has a title sponsor. Dream 11 will now be the official sponsors for Rs 222 crore and will replace Vivo, who decided to pull out this season due to the ongoing tensions between India and China in the Galwan valley. IPL chairman Brijesh Patel confirmed that Dream 11 would be the title sponsors for this edition of the Indian Premier League. The latest development has resulted in a loss of Rs 218 crore this year as Vivo was paying Rs 440 crore per year as per their five-year deal. However, the BCCI will be happy that they can at least recover some of the costs.

However, the latest move has not pleased many people on social media. There has been a huge outcry for boycotting Chinese products after 20 Indian Army personnel, including a Colonel, were killed in the violent face-off between Indian and Chinese troops in June. Now, Dream 11 is facing the wrath due to one entity, Tencent.

In some media reports, Tencent Holdings Ltd has invested USD 100 million in Dream 11. Tencent is China’s biggest gaming and social media company and it has invested in Dream XI Fantasy.

Confusion over Tencent and Dream 11

Tencent was founded in 1998 in Shenzhen and it has mushroomed into one of the biggest conglomerates in China. It includes instant messenger services like Wechat, Hike and Tencent QQ but it is largely responsible for being the publishing partner of PUBG. The online video game is massively game among the youth both in India and China. However, the ire towards Dream 11 seems to stem out of the confusion that it is owned by the Chinese. In fact, on closer introspection, Dream XI is owned by Harsh Jain and Bhavit Sheth ever since it’s creation in 2012. All 400 plus employees working in Dream 11 are all Indian and their Indian investors are Kalaari Capital and Multiples Equity.

So, it is true that Tencent has a stake in Dream 11. Whatever profits Dream 11 might get from the title sponsorship as well as through the broadcast might benefit Tencent as well this year.

The anger might probably stem from the fact that TV viewings and live streaming for IPL 2020 is set to shatter all records as the tournament will be played behind without any spectators at the stadium due to the pandemic. With Dream 11 announcing partnerships with the ICC, WBBL, BBL, Pro Kabaddi League, International Hockey Federation in 2018 as well as partnering seven major IPL teams, the profit margin seems enormous. But the presence of Tencent in the Dream 11 set-up makes the suspension of the Vivo deal very awkward. Perhaps, in the face of profit, the India-China tension has been pushed into the backburner.

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