Sporting life means result is always a healthy outcome

Updated: 2012-03-14 07:49

By Lei Lei (China Daily)

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Economic boost

In his Government Work Report, Premier Wen said other major tasks for this year are to encourage more consumer spending on fitness and lift the importance of the sports industry to new heights.

"Sport can be profitable for the country," said Wang, the retired deputy sports minister. "In developed powerhouses, the sports industry is closely tied to economic development.

"It not only accelerates the development of professional leagues, but also becomes an important boost for the economy," he added.

The image of China's domestic sports brands has been dented recently by a lawsuit filed by US basketball legend Michael Jordan against Qiaodan, a sportswear manufacturer in Jinjiang, Fujian province.

Jordan says Qiaodan has built its business around the Chinese translation of his name without his permission. The company denies the accusation and says that the Qiaodan trademark is legally registered in China and protected by Chinese law.

Wang said such disputes are "normal" at this stage of the country's sports brand development. "At the beginning, companies are not familiar with international rules," he said. "Yet, as the industry develops, it will gradually get on the right track.

"China already has successful brands, such as Li-Ning and Anta. Domestic brands should develop their own technologies and products," Wang added.

Sports entrepreneurs also concede that the only way for China to build its image as a sports powerhouse is for companies to create their own products protected under intellectual property rights.

"I didn't feel good when I heard about Jordan's lawsuit against Qiaodan," said Gan Lianfang, president of Beijing Xingpai Group, a major manufacturer of snooker products. "Although the registration of Qiaodan might be legal in China, it still looks like a shortcut.

"China's brands should go international by creating unique products," he added.



Many universities in China have tried to integrate sports training into their normal classes, and some of them, such as Tsinghua University, have done a very good job. But what's more important is that we set up a system to create more competitions for students and make universities play a more important role.

DENG YAPING, former table tennis champion and CPPCC member

The national fitness program has drawn such great attention because it is related to cultural development. Sport is a part of culture.

YANG JINGZHI, deputy director of the Hebei provincial sports administration and CPPCC member

The promotion of national fitness does not only rely on regulations, but also it has to be part of an overall strategy for State development. All levels of government have to consider it as important as economic growth. The implementation should be related to the assessment of local officials.

BIAN ZHILIANG, chairman of Taishan Sports Industry Group and CPPCC member

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