Sports Industry in China Part II: Transforming the Regime

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 Timely Rain

A major transformation of the sports industry in China is approaching.

On March 24, 2010, China’s State Council, the highest executive organ of State administration, for the first time, issued a document designed to promote sports industry in China.

The release of the document, namely the Guiding Opinion on Accelerating the Development of Sports Industry in China, Guiding Opinion for short, indicates that sports industry in China was elevated to an unprecedented height of strategic position at the national level, manifesting Chinese central government’s resolution to transform the sunrise industry.

“The primary goal of the Guiding Opinion is to attract non-governmental investment,” Liu Fumin, Director General of the Department of Finance of the General Administration of Sport of China, told this author.

As the document points out: both domestic and foreign private investment in China’s sports industry is actively encouraged, and market exploration of sports performance and recreational sports should be put into action to a greater extent.

“In my opinion, the core of the Guiding Opinion is about intellectual property and organizing sporting event,” analyzed Chen Shaofeng, director of the Sport Industry Research Centre of China. “The main problem that has long been plaguing China’s sports industry is that the market resources have not opened to the public.””Although the opinions are highly constructive, the key is to work out specific, practical practices and implement them all,” Chen said.

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In the light of industry experts, by 2020, the market size of China’s sports industry is more than likely to exceed 2 trillion RMB should the Guiding Opinion come to fruition.

Over the last five years, China’s sports industry has ridden on a high-speed train and is emerging as a new bright spot in national economy. The growth rate of the industry has kept up a pace of above 16 percent in recent years, surpassing that of the national economy, and China has become the world’s largest sports goods manufacturer, according to the statistics of the General Administration of Sport.

“China’s sports industry is booming and the Guiding Opinion came like a timely rain,” proclaimed Liu. “The General Administration of Sport has been working on the Guiding Opinion’s follow-up policies to ensure that China’s sports industry takes a sound development path in the coming years.”

Author: Li Zhenyu
Source: People’s Daily Online

Li Zhenyu authors the “Beyond Gold” column for People’s Daily Online.

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