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Hainan aims to become esports hub with RMB1bn development fund

Chinese city Hainan is setting up a special development fund worth over RMB1bn ($145m) to attract esports events and businesses.

According to Sina.com, Sun Ying, the director of Hainan provincial tourism and culture broadcasting and sports department, announced the fund on June 20 at a trade event, the Global Esports Leadership Summit.

It is part of a range of measures being introduced by to develop the city’s esports industry, also including a special subsidy of $14m related to esports events, a “Thousand Talents” plan to reward esports athletes with scholarships, simplified and expedited approvals from local authorities for esports events, The new esports policy is part of “Hailiu”, named for the region’s upcoming six economic policies.

The esports measures are an expansion of Hainan’s existing zero-tariff and low-tax policy.

The Chinese central government wants to transform the city into the country’s latest free-trade zone by 2020. It has promised to give foreign firms economic freedom, with priority given to trade, tourism and hi-tech sectors.