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$10m for ‘Chinese StubHub’ Tking

The Shanghai-based secondary ticketing site, which boasts half a million users, reportedly works closely with Chinese promoters to offer inventory for discount prices

By Jon Chapple on 25 Nov 2016

Jung Yong-hwa plays the Mercedes-Benz Arena, in Tking hometown Shanghai, last October, Hillam Lau

Jung Yong-hwa plays the Mercedes-Benz Arena, in Tking hometown Shanghai, last October

image © Hillam Lau

Chinese start-up Tking has raised US$10 million in initial venture-capital financing as it bids to become the country’s first major homegrown secondary ticketing site.

Shanghai-based Tking (or 牛魔王 in Mandarin, after the Bull Demon King in Journey to the West and featuring said diabolical bull as its logo), has designs on being ‘China’s StubHub’, writes China Money Network, and has since its founding in 2013 sold more than 500,000 tickets in partnership with Chinese promoters and primary ticket agencies.

The series-A financing comes from Matrix Partners China, Nanshan Capital and DCM Ventures.

Around 90% of tickets listed on Tking offer discounted prices

Though a new secondary ticketing start-up in the world’s second-largest economy won’t be music to the global industry’s ears, reports suggest Tking listings – which include tickets to concerts, sporting events, theatrical shows, ballet and opera – are not characterised by the kind of sky-high pricing that has made resale sites so notorious in the West, with around 90% of listings actually below face value. Writes CMN: “Tking connects event ticket aggregators and wholesalers directly with the end users, therefore enabling discounts to consumers. Around 90% of the tickets listed on its platform offer discounted prices.”

According to the International Ticketing Yearbook 2016, ticket touts in the People’s Republic “work with venues to buy up blocks of tickets, giving promoters a way to sell large quantities quickly, reducing their risk”.

China’s live music industry was worth CN¥3.9 billion (€500m) in 2014.


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