City Football Group (CFG), Melbourne City owners, have added a seventh football club to its growing stable with the announcement it has jointly purchased China League Two side Sichuan Jiuniu FC.
In addition to English champions Manchester City, CFG owns MLS side New York City, Australia's Melbourne City, Uruguay's Club Atletico Torque, a joint majority stake in Spanish club Girona and a minority stake in Japan's Yokohama F. Marinos.
"Today marks an exciting new chapter in the growth of City Football Group," Ferran Soriano, chief executive officer of CFG, said via a statement.
"China is an extremely important football market, which we have been focused on for some time."
"We believe strongly in the future of football in China. We are making a long-term, sustainable commitment to grow and develop Sichuan Jiuniu FC and to nurture Chinese footballing talent."
Sichuan Jiuniu FC, who are based in Chengdu and play their home games at the 27,000 capacity Chengdu Longquanyi Football Stadium, begin the new season next month.
CFG, who bought the club in partnership with UBTECH and China Sports Capital, is a holding company in which Abu Dhabi United Group owns an 87 per cent stake with the remaining 13 percent held by the China Media Capital consortium (CMC).
China Sports Capital was established by CMC and venture capital giant Sequoia China in 2017 while humanoid robotics manufacturer UBTECH has been a commercial partner of Premier League champions Manchester City since 2016.
China has invested heavily in the sport in recent years, boosting its domestic league by signing a number of high-profile, international players and coaches.