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China's ice and snow industry shows promise in wake of Winter Olympics | Updated: 2022-03-18 15:56
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A child experiences skiing at a ski resort in Nanchuan district, Chongqing municipality on Jan 30, 2022. [Photo/IC]

Spending spree for winter sports

The Beijing Winter Olympics has triggered a gold rush for winter sporting goods in China. Decathlon, a France-based sporting goods retailer, has witnessed a sharp increase in sales, especially for winter sports equipment like skis and ski boots.

The holding of the Beijing Winter Olympics offered a perfect chance to vigorously expand winter sports across China, said Claire Butcher, the winter sports equipment manager of Decathlon China.

In southern areas of China, indoor winter sports stadiums and training institutions are booming. Beijing, Zhejiang, Liaoning, Sichuan and Shandong are the top five regions where people are most involved in the winter sports, according to a report released by the JD Research Institute for Consumption and Industrial Development.

Primary school students compete in a hockey contest in Anhui province in late January of 2022. [Photo by Yuan Bing/For China Daily]

Bai Yufei, a professor from the School of Business in Beijing Sport University, believes the rising of residents' income contributes to the increasing development of the ice and snow industry, which explains why the ice and snow industry could boom in southern China.

"Parents are willing to pay for expensive equipment and let their children play winter sports such as ice hockey," Bai said. "Some youth hockey teams in southern cities are quite competitive throughout China."

Bai thinks the per capita GDP of $10,000 is a key point for promoting sports, and the ice and snow industry will see great new opportunities after that. China's per capita GDP exceeded $10,000 for the first time in 2019, and a moderately prosperous society in all respects was achieved in 2020. The Beijing Winter Olympics, taking this opportunity, has fueled the winter sports industry.

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