Big-spending Chinese clubs Guangzhou Evergrande and Jiangsu Suning have been knocked out of the Asian Champions League at the group stages.
Luiz Felipe Scolari's Guangzhou, the defending champions, have signed £31m Jackson Martinez and £10m ex-Tottenham midfielder Paulinho in the past year.
Meanwhile, former Liverpool target Alex Teixeira, who cost £38.4m, £25m Ramires and Jo play for Jiangsu.
The Asian Champions League is a route to the Fifa Club World Cup.
There are two Chinese clubs left in the tournament with Sven-Goran Eriksson's Shanghai SIPG, who have Asamoah Gyan, and Shandong Luneng reaching the last 16.
Guangzhou - who were also Asian champions in 2013 - and Jiangsu are the top two teams in the Chinese Super League, seven games into the domestic season, while former Newcastle and Chelsea striker Demba Ba of Shanghai Shenhua is the division's top scorer.