Potential sponsors struggling with the global financial meltdown are turning their backs on next year's Asian Games in the southern city of Guangzhou, Chinese media is reporting.
A dearth of sponsorships from Chinese exporters is hampering preparations for the games, although organizers hope foreign firms will pick up the slack, according to the China Daily newspaper.
Sponsors have pledged about 2 billion yuan ($292 million;euro232.58 million), or two-thirds of that expected, the paper said. A sharp drop in exports has battered companies operating in surrounding Guangdong province, the powerhouse of China's trade-led growth for the past three decades. The 2010 World Expo in China's commercial hub of Shanghai is also suffering.