Latest News:  
Beijing   Sunny/Cloudy    33 / 23 ℃  City Forecast

Home>>Sports

Sports Industry in China Part I: Tapping the Goldmine

By Li Zhenyu (People's Daily Online)

14:41, July 17, 2012

At the height of China's post-Olympic glory, the portal to the "gold mine" of the nation's sports resources is poised to be unlocked.

Author's Note:

China's sports industry, an untapped gold mine with immense potential business opportunities has, over the years, caught the eyes of many, mostly inside Chinese sports officials and outside gold rushers. Now, the locked door to the treasury is beginning to open.

A Golden Industry

In March 2010, China's highest executive organ of State administration historically issued an official document designed to transform the nation's sports industry, with the primary goal of attracting non-governmental investment.

"We welcome both private domestic and foreign investors' participation in China's sports industry, especially in such core domains as the sports performance and recreational sports sector," Liu Fumin, Director General of the Department of Finance of the General Administration of Sport of China told this author.

"The budding sunrise industry is bound to bring them sweet rewards."

Over the past decades, sport in China has largely been built around the planned economy system, a regime known as juguo, or "whole nation", in which the government owns and runs all sports.

While the strengths of this system are evident in yielding gold medals, it makes it harder for a free market to grow around sport, and thus, its sports industry to take root.

Although in many industries, China has embraced marketization and globalization over the past three decades of its extraordinary economic growth, the sports industry in China has far from fully developed and many of the nation's elite athletes and sporting events remain largely sheltered from commercialization.

According to statistics of the General Administration of Sport, given the weak situation of China's sports industry, it accounts for only 0.52 percent of China's GDP in 2008, while in some developed countries, the number often exceeds one percent.

On the other side of the coin, the current state of China's sports industry might denote huge growth potential and immeasurable business opportunities.

China's rapid economic growth has driven up living standards and disposable incomes, particularly in such metropolitans as Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou, where a more affluent and younger generation of Chinese sports fans are born.

"China's sports market has HUGE potentials," Chen Shaofeng, director of the Sport Industry Research Centre of China told this author.

"In terms of the sports performance and recreational sports sector, which constitute the core of sports industry, there's 90 percent of the market that is yet to be explored."

China's sport may not only produce gold medals, as witnessed in the unparalleled 2008 Olympics, but also tons of "pure gold". Sports industry in China is a gold mine that is yet to be tapped.

"For the industry to reach its full potential, China's sport must free itself from the centrally planned regime and be built around independent, professionally-managed sports league and its own industrial chain," Chen suggested.

Although China adopted the notion of professional sports from the West and brought in the league system as early as more than 20 years ago, the professional sport, in essence, has yet to come to existence, since China's sports federations, which run their respective sports league, such as Chinese Super League (CSL) and Chinese Basketball Association (CBA), have been all State-run.

"China's sports industry calls for a reform of the sporting regime," Chen asserted.

Li Zhenyu authors the "Beyond Gold" column for People's Daily Online.

Email|Print|Comments(Editor:厉振羽、叶欣)

Leave your comment0 comments

  1. Name

  

Selections for you


  1. APF servicemen in training

  2. Hazards removed from apartment of cinema shooting suspect

  3. No hard landing for Chinese economy

  4. Int'l Youth Dance Festival held in Macao

  5. Zhang Ziyi and Sa Bening's love affair comes to light

  6. Crazy man goes wild in public

Most Popular

Opinions

  1. West wrong on Chinese public's Syria view
  2. Clinton’s Asia trip takes economic turn
  3. Will SE Asia become a battleground?
  4. Credit stimulus not panacea
  5. Reforms are promising, but not perfect
  6. Raise awareness of domestic brands
  7. Ivy League not gold standard for teachers
  8. No need to panic about slowdown in China
  9. Commentary: Health of stock market
  10. S. China Sea tensions stirred up with outside help

What's happening in China

Fish farm in waters at Meiji Reef of South China Sea

  1. Hospital director arrested for raping 2 minors
  2. 5.23m yuan public toilets at tourism site criticized
  3. Strong tropical storm approaches S China
  4. Missing crew confirmed dead after helicopter crash
  5. Court finds contract masked personal loan

China Features

  1. You and me, in Beijing to understand China
  2. Guided-missile battalion conducts training
  3. Main ingredient of Evian toner is water
  4. DPRK celebrates top leader's Marshal title
  5. Cangshan Mountain in Shanxi province

PD Online Data

  1. Spring Festival
  2. Chinese ethnic odyssey
  3. Yangge in Shaanxi
  4. Gaoqiao in Northern China
  5. The drum dance in Ansai