Newcastle United have announced on Tuesday that they have made a move to allow fans in China to more easily access news about the Magpies.

In light of the recent speculation/claims about Chinese investors buying part or all of the club, it is impeccably timed.

It is great news for Newcastle fans over in China, who can now more easily connect with the club, but it doesn’t take a genius to work out that this has been given a push purely down to the new sponsorship deal with an Asian betting company.

Official Newcastle United statement:

‘Newcastle United has launched three new social media accounts in China as part of the club’s 125th anniversary celebrations.

The club has unveiled official accounts on hugely popular Sina Weibo, WeChat and Dongqiudi platforms, boosting communication and engagement with millions of sports fans across the Far East.

The launch comes as Newcastle United’s new 2017/18 PUMA home kit – which carries FUN88 banding for the very first time and a special crest to mark the club’s 125th anniversary year – reaches stores across the globe ready for the new season.

The Magpies already have a number of established fan groups in major cities across China and surrounding territories, some with thousands of active members.

The launch of the new accounts comes shortly after Newcastle United was named as the fastest growing football club brand in the world in 2017 by industry experts Brand Finance, with 92% growth in the last 12 months.

The club’s new accounts can be found here:

Sina Weibo: NUFC_纽卡斯尔联足球俱乐部

WeChat (Wēixìn): 纽卡斯尔联足球俱乐部

Dongqiudi: 纽卡斯尔联足球俱乐部

Lee Charnley, managing director at Newcastle United, said: “Social media plays a hugely important role in how we engage with supporters, particularly those who are unable to be close to St. James’ Park, so we are pleased to be launching new accounts on Sina Weibo, WeChat and Dongqiudi.

“With a number of existing fan groups in China and a growing presence in the region, both as a Premier League club and now as a partner of FUN88, this is a natural step for us and we look forward to connecting with even more fans and sharing our experiences with them.”

Micro-blogging site Sina Weibo is one of the most visited websites in China; with well over half a billion registered users. It is widely regarded as hybrid of Western social media platforms Facebook and Twitter.

The Magpies’ ‘Weibo’ account will feature a variety of bespoke content, including the best images, video and digital content from the Magpies throughout the 2017/18 Premier League season and beyond.

WeChat is a dynamic micro-messaging app with more than 900m active users – around 90% of whom are based in China.

Newcastle United’s official WeChat account will provide subscribers with a packed feed of the latest news and updates from the club, as well as the use of unique player-based sticker emojis and the potential for a number of additional services.

Dongqiudi, meanwhile, is a popular football-specific social networking app that was established in 2013. The app enables supporters in China to join their own online club community, getting closer to the team despite following from afar.

The three new accounts add to Newcastle United’s growing social media portfolio, with a hugely successful presence on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat (search: nufcofficial) and YouTube – generating a combined following of almost 3.5m people.