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October 8, 2016

Jian bin Wan

Charles Hsiung

Peihua Wu

Alfred Zhang Junhui

Beijing, China

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please, in Chinese.

Q. This year you have improved your attendance rate. In the future, in which aspects would the China Open like to improve?
ALFRED ZHANG JUNHUI: Actually, we are responsible for the stadium, the improvements and the renovation. This year the court has been improved a lot compared with the year before. We have an LED screen, and we have the application of videos.

As for the night sessions, we have used a lot of lights and sound to make it more colorful and diversified. In the near future, we would like to build the center court with 100% wi-fi coverage.

In this new social media era, we need to achieve this 100% wi-fi coverage so if you're here at the China Open, you can have a better experience at the China Open.

In terms of the sound equipment, we need to improve it. You will feel you are in a kind of theater instead of just on a court.

Q. It was said that this year that because of the weather the number of spectators declined a little bit, but your income is increasing. Why is that? How much money have you earned by selling the tickets?
ALFRED ZHANG JUNHUI: First of all, since 2014 we added more entertainment, food and catering and stores. Although the number of spectators has declined, the consumption level has been improving. From this perspective over these two years, hour efforts have paid off.

This year the consumption per spectator has been up by 7%. It's a good thing to see. Actually, because of the declining number of spectators, it has some influence on our total income. If the weather is better, we'll see a better income.

In terms of the revenue generated from the ticket sales, right now we don't have the final figure. Tomorrow we will have four finals. Those tickets will be the most expensive ones, so we'll wait and see. Tomorrow we'll have more specific data for the total revenue generated from the ticket sales.

This year, because of the weather and the rain, the number of spectators has been influenced. I predict the total revenue will be affected by the weather, maybe down 10% compared with the year before. But I hope that our total income will not be down by 10%.

Tonight and tomorrow we'll have another round of the sales of tickets. I hope we will not have a dramatic drop in ticket revenue.

Q. This year Novak is not here. What is the impact of not having the No. 1 player here on the China Open? As for the top players, what are the roles of those top players for the China Open?
CHARLES HSIUNG: The first question is the impact of Novak's withdrawal from the China Open. Of course, Novak not being here has some influence on the China Open, but the influence is not that huge.

Several reasons. We're in our 13th year. Over these years, we have accumulated our branding platform, so the people like to be here. In addition, the players actually like to be here to attend the China Open. We still have Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray, Raonic, some other good players.

I believe although Djokovic is not here, the impact is limited.

This year Zhang Shuai played very well. The influence of Novak has been reduced but a large margin.

As for the top players, their roles in the China Open, actually, I don't get the question.

ALFRED ZHANG JUNHUI: The roles of the top players for the China Open, of course they're important for the China Open. As for the tournament, players are the key. We prioritize the top-ranked players. The more top players we have, the better the China Open will be.

The China Open is in the Chinese national holiday. The spectators do not only focus on top-ranked players, they focus more on the tennis itself. A lot of fans, although they have brought the center court tickets before the main draw, they would like to see qualification matches, as well, because they love tennis itself.

Many fans follow the top players. Some fans may take their tennis ball to get autographs. Sometimes they don't actually know who the star is. Although the fan doesn't know who this player is, they like to follow them and get their autograph on their tennis ball.

So they love tennis itself instead of the top-ranked players.

Q. This year there are so many linesmen and judges. Did you invite them in particular? What is your assessment for the foreign judges this year?
JIAN bin WAN: In the past, over these years, very few foreign linesmen are here. This year we have invited 17 foreign linesmen, accounting for 20% of the total.

Those linesmen come from different countries and regions. The China Open is a premier-level tournament. Through this tournament we would like to have this kind of international communication. We hope that at this tournament the foreign judges and linesmen can no better the China Open.

At the same time our Chinese linesmen can have better connection with their foreign counterparts so they have the opportunity to participate in some international tournaments.

By inviting the foreign linesmen, we can introduce the competition. When we have the foreign linesmen, the Chinese linesmen can view the need and urgency to improve their skills and techniques.

Our efforts have been well-received by the international organizations. Of course we need to increase our costs to invite those foreign linesmen. But on the whole in terms of the performance of the linesmen, in terms of the WTA, the linesmen have called the lines correctly at 71%. The error rate for them is about 27%. It's 6% higher than the international average. The international error rate is about 32%. As compared with last year, we performed better this year.

Q. What is the cooperation between the China Open and other Chinese tournaments? Will we have a prize money pool like the US Open?
PEIHUA WU: In Chinese tournaments, we have the WTA and ATP matches. They concentrate on the second half of the year. In terms of timing, of course we would like to have the guidance of the Chinese Tennis Association.

JIAN bin WAN: You are talking about the US Open Series. Is that the concept you raised? I know before the US Open they have a series of competitions. If the player participated in the series before the US Open, then win the US Open, the players can get a bigger share of the prize money. Is that what you are asking?

ALFRED ZHANG JUNHUI: Over the past two years China has more and more tournaments, especially women's tennis tournaments. We have a partnership with other tournament, but also we have cooperation with other Chinese tournaments.

As for the WTA tournament, if we cooperate with each other better, we can expand and enlarge our interest and rights so we can receive more benefits from it. In terms of the specific cooperation, we cooperate in terms of the tournament operation and promotion of the tournaments.

We also hope that we can have more player exchanges. In Tianjin, Shenzhen and Zhuhai tournaments, we have discussed that we'd like to use different brands to attract more people into the tennis world. We need to huddle together to seek this synergy.

JIAN bin WAN: Over these years, China has introduced a lot of tournaments, especially the past five years. In eight cities we have altogether 11 WTA and ATP tournaments. We have lower-ranked tournaments. Altogether we have 77 tournaments in China.

This year in terms of the prize money, it has exceeded 200 million RMB. China Open has exceeded 10 million RMB. Actually, the prize money is about 50 million RMB. So 50 million is the net prize money. The figure I talk about is the figure for the WTA. In terms of the ATP, they look at the figure on the draw.

As for the 77 tournaments, the total prize money has exceeded 200 million RMB. Right now we are not ready for something like the US Open Series. But through our collaboration, we can make this pie bigger and bigger. We would like to spread the culture of tennis so that more and more players could participate in it.

In China, a huge country, the tennis economy is growing rapidly. I believe that with the increase of population, we would like to invite more tournaments into China. But, of course, we need to have a solid foundation of fans for the tournaments. We believe we need to cooperate with each other to make tennis more and more popular. It's a good thing for the Chinese tennis industry.

It can also attract more tennis players. It is during this Asian swing, but 80% of the Asian swing is in China. We have Hong Kong and Japan. We hope we can form a US Open Series, that we can have a series of competitions, then have the China Open and the Shanghai Masters to attract more tennis players.

Right now we believe that we can improve the level of the China Open.

ALFRED ZHANG JUNHUI: I would like to add that actually under the plan and arrangement of the Chinese Tennis Association, we would like to have this kind of Chinese series, just like the US Open Series. We need to have the Comprehensive Plan of the Chinese Tennis Association.


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