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Sports in China - statistics and facts

Sports play a vital role in promoting economic and social development. Not only does it enrich people’s intellectual and cultural life, but it can also demonstrate a country’s soft power. Since hosting the 2008 Summer Olympics, China has announced a series of national plans aspiring to become a strong sports nation by 2025. Apart from policy changes, enormous market potentials among middle-class and female customers, e-commerce, and digitalization are growth drivers.

Roadmap to becoming a sports superpower

After announcing its masterplan for a healthy nation “Fitness for All” in 2015, Beijing has invested heavily in public sports facilities and promoting community-oriented sports events. These efforts seem to be paying off as the number of people exercising regularly is on the right track to reach the goal of 500 million by 2025.
Furthermore, winter sports and soccer were prioritized in the action plans for hosting the 2022 Olympic Winter Games, alongside the ambitious goal of winning a World Cup title before 2050. The latest policy agenda has pledged even more spending on sports, boosting the three trillion-yuan sports industry to five trillion yuan by 2025.

Basketball and soccer enthusiasm

The Chinese sports market is also driven by millions of sports fans, many of which are willing to spend big on merchandise and tickets to see their favorite teams. Basketball is commonly regarded as the most beloved sport with a fan base of 625 million, 26 percent of which would stream basketball matches at least every other day. Soccer is another favorite ball game in China. The 200 million Chinese soccer fans are typically middle-aged, middle-class males who are open to Western brand products and technical innovations. To compete for their attention, brands are expected to be spending exponentially more on football marketing and advertising year on year.

COVID is reshaping the Chinese sports market

The coronavirus pandemic has caused many Chinese consumers to reflect on their own health and exercise . Due to social distancing measures, online fitnesshas increased in popularity as an alternative to going to the gym, especially among female workout lovers. Apart from home exercises, running and skiing have also become trendy.
It comes as no surprise that these trends have led to a soar in online sales of sports items during the lockdown period. The sophistication of China's e-commerce infrastructure and digital savviness of Chinese consumers have largely contributed to such a development. At the start of 2022, sports retail monthly sales reached record highs.

Interesting statistics

In the following 5 chapters, you will quickly find the 27 most important statistics relating to "Sports in China".


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