I think the more important development was the recent attempts to clean up the game. The biggest problem Chinese domestic football has is the widespread perception amongst the general population that it's totally corrupt (which it almost certainly is, a glance at the weekly roundup will usually reveal at least one match blighted by appalling refereeing which would result in an immediate investigation in Europe). This combined with the low standards has meant that many football fans don't follow the domestic game. By sorting out the corruption, and improving standards (which requires some foreign influence) they can grow their domestic game. They've just got to avoid the NASL pitfalls, and get the balance right between foreign stars and developing their own talent. So more like MLS or the J League.
thanks for this article ... despite the sudden spike in press coverage what with drogba, anelka, etc., the overall coverage of the chinese game remains minimal and mysterious, so any insight is welcome, to this reader at least. cheers, mark