Penn Athletics is pleased to announce that all four remaining home men’s basketball games will be broadcast live in Mandarin. Four Penn graduate students who are Chinese natives and fluent in Mandarin will serve as announcers, with the video available on ESPN+ (in the United States) and Stretch Internet (internationally). In addition, Tencent, one of the world’s largest technology and gaming companies, will simulcast the Penn broadcast to its millions of viewers in China.
“We are excited to bring our basketball brand to Mandarin-speaking fans in China and the United States,” says M. Grace Calhoun, Penn’s director of athletics and recreation. “Enhancing our brand through international partnerships is part of Penn Athletics’ strategic plan, and doing so in China—where the University has a strong relationship dating back to the early 19th century—is one way that we can support Penn’s global objectives. We are thankful to our four Chinese graduate students and our campus partners for helping make the vision of Mandarin broadcasts a reality, and we are hopeful to continue these broadcasts in the years to come.”
The University has a large population of Chinese students, with more than 1,700 currently enrolled, and has approximately 15,000 alumni living in China. One of the Chinese students is freshman men’s basketball player Michael Wang, a native of Taiyuan, Shanxi, who is averaging 9.7 points per game while playing an important role for the Quakers.
Penn’s relationship with China began in the 19th century when graduates of Penn’s Medical School, the first in the United States, introduced Western medicine to the Chinese. The connection continued throughout the centuries with additional medical partnerships, cross-cultural engagement between Penn and Chinese universities, numerous visits by multiple Penn presidents, and in 2015, the creation of the Penn Wharton China Center.
The four graduate students are members of the Penn Chinese Basketball Association. Jintao Fu is a Ph.D. student in materials science and engineering from Shenyang, China; Xiaoyong Jiang is from Changzhou, China, and is a master’s student in materials science and engineering; Zhefu Peng is a master’s student in electrical engineering from Shenzhen, China; and Yan Wu is a master’s student in electrical engineering from Beijing, China.
The Mandarin broadcasts are part of a larger mission of Penn Athletics to increase its brand and visibility in China. The Penn football team will be traveling to China from March 2-10, culminating in the 2019 Penn-China Global Ambassadors Bowl in Shanghai on March 9 against the American Football League of China All-Stars.=
The home basketball games that will be broadcast live in Mandarin are Penn vs. Columbia on Friday, Feb. 22, at 8 p.m.; Penn vs. Cornell on Saturday, Feb. 23, at 7 p.m.; Penn vs. Yale on Friday, March 8, at 7 p.m., and Penn vs. Brown on Saturday, March 9, at 6 p.m.