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Port Adelaide Power and the Suns to return to China in 2018 for AFL fixture

Gold Coast and China face off in Shanghai
About 11,000 spectators from China and Port Adelaide were present for 2017's round 8 match between the Power and the Suns.

AAP: Tracey Nearmy

Port Adelaide Power will continue its push for Chinese supporters after announcing its return to Shanghai for a premiership game in 2018.

It follows the inaugural Chinese-based game held at Shanghai's Jiangwan Stadium during round eight in 2017, when Port Adelaide thumped the Gold Coast Suns by 72 points.

"We have always said that we need to maintain a consistent presence in China for AFL to succeed and playing an annual premiership season game in Shanghai is obviously a key to the that outcome," Port Adelaide chief executive Keith Thomas said.

He said the 2017 game was a sell-out, with more than 5,000 local fans travelling to Shanghai for the game.

They contributed to just over 10,000 spectators who were present for the first AFL premiership game outside of Australia or New Zealand.

"This year we are looking to increase the ground capacity by a couple of thousand to accommodate the increased demand we expect following the success of this year's inaugural game," Mr Thomas said.

The Power will again play the Suns and it will be played Saturday afternoon on May 19, giving both teams an eight-day break before the next round to accommodate travel requirements.

South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill said the Shanghai venue was officially now called Adelaide Arena at Jiangwan Stadium.

Gui Guojie, the founder of Chinese real estate conglomerate Shanghai CRED, was present for today's announcement in Adelaide, along with AFL Clubs and Broadcasting general manager Travis Auld.

"It is our common dream to promote the Australian football culture to China," he said.

"We acknowledge that to successfully lead Australian football culture into China, there will be various difficulties and challenges."

He said AFL could leverage a "broader exchange and collaboration between bi-lateral culture, education, economy and trade, and bring people from the two countries closer".

The game will be broadcast live on free-to-air television in SA and QLD.