Bayern surpassed by United as China’s top team

Manchester United have overtaken Bayern Munich as China's most popular team after an analysis was done by specialist online study group Mailman.

Arsenal and Liverpool hold joint-third spot with Manchester City in fifth place. China's growth as an influential player in world football has made news following the Chinese Super League's purchase of global stars on huge salaries.

However, the German Bundesliga remains that nation's most influential league with Chinese football fans taking the most interest in following events in that league.

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The report, named Red Card, collated data by analysing Chinese social media platforms WeChat and Weibo. It also looked at audience figures from live streams of matches, and how the different club websites perform in China.

David Hornby, head of sport at Mailman, said of the results to the BBC: "The Premier League is complacent. Its clubs have decent numbers of followers on Weibo, but not as high engagement.

"The Bundesliga clubs are far more active. The German league tells its clubs what to do, whereas the respective Premier League clubs are in control of what they do. United were the most followed, but Bayern were a country mile ahead regarding activity online."

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