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Chinese Basketball Association calibrates salary cap

Spending limits to ensure a more balanced and sustainable league.

9 June 2021 Tom King
  • Each CBA team's domestic player total payroll must be between CH¥16m and CH¥44m
  • Failure to comply is punished with a luxury tax of 25 per cent

The Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) league's salary cap is set to be refined ahead of the coming season.

The CBA introduced a salary cap for the first time in its history for the 2020/21 season. The spending parameters were introduced partly to help teams manage through the Covid-19 pandemic and to put more emphasis on the development of homegrown players.

Now, with the new regulations for the 2021/22 season, revealed on the 8th of June, each club's total payroll for domestic players must be between CH¥16 million (US$2.5 million) and CH¥44 million (US$6.87 million), with a benchmark value of CH¥24 million (US$3.75 million).

Any club with a total salary amount over or under the revised limits will be punished with a luxury tax of 25 per cent, according to Chinese state news agency Xinhua.

Under the revised salary structure, a domestic player cannot earn more than CH¥6 million (US$937,800), down from CH¥8 million (US$1.25 million) last season.

For foreign players, the league has lowered the salary cap from US$7 million to US$5 million.

When the regulations were introduced last year, Zhang Chi, head of CBA player development, said: “We are confident in the system it’s an agreement by our clubs and investors. Besides that, all of us want a more balanced and sustainable league.”

Under the cap, the teams are encouraged to focus more on their youth training system instead of buying established players or importing foreign stars.


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