Team China Is Scoring Contracts at Soccer's World Cup, Not Goals

BEIJING (TheStreet) -- China is sending an army of toy armadillos but not a single soccer player to Brazil for this summer's FIFA World Cup tournament.

So among the only fans cheering China during the month-long sporting colossus, which starts next week, will be the country's biggest manufacturers of stuffed animals, solar panels and outdoor stadium display screens.

Almost every toy and trinket bearing the likeness of the World Cup's mascot, a pointy-nosed armadillo named Fuleco, has been made in China.

Chinese manufacturers of construction equipment and railroad cars are likewise applauding contracts they won for public infrastructure projects tied to the World Cup and the upcoming 2016 Summer Olympics to be held in Rio De Janeiro. Brazil has been spending billions to prepare stadiums and transportation systems for these events.

Team China's most prominent star is solar panel manufacturer Yingli Green Energy (YGE), a supplier of sun-powered lighting for stadiums and parking lots at World Cup venues. It's the only Chinese company on the event's list of corporate sponsors, which also includes McDonald's (MCD), Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) and Continental Tire (CTTAY).

TV viewers will see Yingli's logo splashed across advertising banners that line the playing fields. Higher up, about 1,500 of its solar modules can be seen ringing the top of the Estadio do Maracana stadium, which will host the championship match. Another venue for the games, Arena Pernambuco, is getting power from a local utility's solar farm recently built by Yingli.

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