In the past 12 months or so, there have been some extremely high-profile players moving to the Chinese Super League.
At just past the halfway point of what it the first season for many, ESPN FC runs the rule on how some of the biggest names are performing.
10. Asamoah Gyan (Shanghai SIPG)
The Ghanaian seems to have peaked. This season has seen the sharpness of old start to fade, though injuries have played a part. Former club Al Ain of the United Arab Emirates can congratulate themselves for selling for €20 million at the right time last summer. He has not been poor but Shanghai fans were entitled to expect more from what was a record transfer deal between Asian clubs. Has been outshone and outscored by Brazilian teammate Elkeson.
9. Jackson Martinez (Guangzhou Evergrande)
Was one of the biggest signings in the world in the winter transfer window but the Colombian did not live up to his reputation or his €42m price tag. There were flashes of talent but little chemistry with the team, though perhaps that would have come if injury had not struck. Has yet to return to action but Guangzhou look better without him and for a player who cost so much, that is disappointing.
8. Fredy Guarin (Shanghai Shenhua)
The midfielder's €11m move to Shanghai came towards the end of the busy winter transfer window and did not perhaps receive the attention it would have achieved had it taken place a few weeks earlier. The ex-Inter Milan man has added some drive and energy to the Shanghai midfield but has showed little so far that could not have been matched by a cheaper signing.
7. Renato Augusto (Beijing Guoan)
It was a source of some pride just a few weeks ago that a Chinese Super League club provided the captain for the Brazilian national team in a major tournament like the Copa America. The midfielder has not hit the heights that were expected though perhaps the chemistry with teammates is yet to come. It has not helped that Beijing Guoan have had a very disappointing season so far, with Alberto Zaccheroni fired early on and plenty of other players not performing to expectations.
6. Ezequiel Lavezzi (Hebei CFFC)
Arrived at Hebei in a blaze of publicity to become one of the top 10 best paid players in the world. The Argentine started pretty well, adding creativity and class to the attack of the newly promoted team. His presence also took some of the pressure and attention off teammates. There were no goals but increasingly positive forward play that was put to an end by the Copa America and then the broken elbow he sustained at the tournament. He has been missed and the team's results have not been quite as impressive since.
5. Gervinho (Hebei CFFC)
Has looked very good at times and a stunning solo goal against Henan Jianye is a standout in this, and any other season. But in a league that is full of fine attacking talent, the former Arsenal and Roma man has been overshadowed by many others. Has put in plenty of solid and hardworking performances but needs to score more.
4. Ramires (Jiangsu Suning)
Has been steady in the middle for Jiangsu and his influence has started to increase as the season has progressed. Has built up a good rapport with Alex Teixeira and the Brazilian's aggression is a welcome addition. The ex-Chelsea man threw it away a little earlier in July by being hit with a four-game ban as he attempted to confront the referee after he was sent off in Jiangsu's defeat to lowly Shandong Luneng.
3. Alex Teixeira (Jiangsu Suning)
Was slow to adjust at the beginning, though Dan Petrescu's sometimes direct style was not suited to the Brazilian's talents. Under new coach Choi Yong-soo he has been moved around a little -- to the middle, on the left and up front -- but it is testament to his ability that he has looked comfortable everywhere. The former Shakhtar Donetsk star is becoming the man that makes his big-spending team tick when going forward.
2. Paulinho (Guangzhou Evergrande)
The Brazilian has been a mainstay of a Guangzhou Evergrande team that has threatened to run away with a sixth successive title. Has rarely put a foot or a pass wrong and chips in with a goal on a fairly regular basis. Coach Luiz Felipe Scolari has given him plenty of praise and responsibility and has been repaid well. Does not receive the attention of many but is quietly having an excellent season for the champions, along with compatriot Alan.
1. Demba Ba (Shanghai Shenhua)
The striker's horrific leg injury earlier this month may have made headlines around the world but there should have been more attention paid to his exploits in the Middle Kingdom. The Senegalese hotshot still sits on top of the top scorers' chart with 14 this season for Shanghai Shenhua, almost half of the team's tally. Just gets the job done with the minimum of fuss with wistful locals wondering why a country of 1.3 billion can't produce a striker of such clinical qualities.