AFL's China experiment hits early hurdles

X could mark the spot in Shanghai as the AFL's China experiment weathers some early challenges.

While Port Adelaide and Gold Coast will play in Shanghai again on May 19 for premiership points but, beyond that, there is some uncertainty about how to proceed.

AFL chief executive Gillon McLachlan said there was a five or 10 per cent chance that the new AFLX format could replace full matches.

Last year's historic Suns-Power game in Shanghai was the start of a five-year AFL commitment to China matches.

"The facility is challenging; there are some challenges with that game," McLachlan said.

"If our presence (changes) or looks different I don't know, but we're committed to being up there for the medium term.

"Right now, our plan is to be up there playing a game for the next five years ... (AFLX) is a chance.

"Our dialogue and relationship with China is going through an interesting point.

"In a macro sense, China is going to be incredibly important to Australia for the next century in my view, but it will go through ebbs and flows."

Also on Wednesday, McLachlan said representatives from four clubs were in India this week with AFL official David Stevenson.

"China and India are huge migrant markets. India has facilities that are easy, so you've got population and the scale. You've got the economic growth and an appetite to follow sport," McLachlan said.

"There are potentially opportunities in India and they're being explored at the moment."

McLachlan has not revealed which clubs are on the trip, but Essendon, Richmond, GWS and Adelaide have all expressed interest in the country.