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Olympic fervor invigorates China's consumer, capital market

Xinhua | Updated: 2022-02-14 16:08
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Skiers enjoy the sport at Changbaishan Ski Resort in Northeast China's Jilin province, on Nov 15, 2021. [Photo/Xinhua]

BEIJING -- The unparalleled passion ignited by the ongoing Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games has spurred China's consumer and capital markets in the starting days of the Year of the Tiger.

The enthusiasm of hundreds of millions of spectators has acted as a catalyst in creating new fashion trends in China's speedy consumer market and in kindling new interests among investors in the country's capital market.


"Did you go skiing during the holiday?" Many Chinese people wish to ask their colleagues upon their return to work following the Spring Festival holiday, which concluded on Feb 6.

The Chinese people's zeal for skiing peaked during this holiday as the opening of the Winter Olympics turned the already-popular sporting activity into a new fashion of consumption.

According to online travel service provider, skiing has made its way onto the list of top three hottest words searched on its platform for the first time ever, and the number of ski resort tickets sold on its platform doubled during the holiday compared to last year.

Data from China's e-commerce giant shows that the overall transaction value of ski sports products increased by 322 percent year on year in the period, among which that of ski masks increased by 15 times.

Since China's successful bid for the Winter Olympics in 2015, skiing, the once niche activity, quickly gained popularity in the country. Industry data shows that the number of skiers reached 13.05 million in 2019, nearly doubling from that in 2014, and ski resorts rose from 568 in 2015 to 770 in 2019, and are expected to top 1,000 this year.

Consumption data demonstrates a cross-country passion for skiing, with traditional resorts in China's northeastern region and indoor resorts in the country's south and southwestern regions both becoming hot tourism destinations, according to Alibaba's travel branch Fliggy.

Considering skiing as one of the most popular new sports amid the rapid growth of China's sports consumption, Ding Changfeng, a senior executive at Chinese property developer Vanke, predicts that the number of ski trips in China will rank first in Asia this year and reach the top globally by 2032, hitting 60 million.


In addition to the sweeping popularity of winter sports, Olympic passion has also boosted the sales of related products, be it Olympic mascot merchandise or sportswear with special designs or those worn by celebrity athletes.

Bing Dwen Dwen, the mascot of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics, exemplifies spectators' eagerness to own what they see and fancy.

On Feb 4, the Games' opening day, the mascot became the most popular word searched on in 11 cities and provinces, while over 1 million people flooded the official Olympics online store on e-commerce platform Tmall.

A week into Beijing 2022, consumers are still actively searching for opportunities to buy a Bing Dwen Dwen, whether by joining online flash sales or waiting in long queues outside licensed merchandise stores.

For days, trending topics on social media have fueled an increase in demand for Olympic-themed sports products, such as down jackets worn by numerous national teams during the opening ceremony, panda-themed skateboards, sportswear worn by Olympic champion Gu Ailing, among other items.

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