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5 trillion yuan for Chinese sports industry, is it realizable?

By He Lanying 19 Nov 2015

Figures are sometimes a sensitive but encouraging talking point for people. For example, the projected business size of RMB 5 trillion yuan (800 billion US dollars) for the Chinese sports industry by 2025 is so promising as to make people feel very excited. 

But at the same time, people are starting to wonder whether the ambitious development goal is realizable especially when we look at the current business size of America. The output for the US sports industry is around 500 billion US dollars, which is almost one third of the output of the world sports industry.

The vision for the Chinese sports industry is certainly good, but we need to realize that the Chinese sports industry is still at an early stage of development. It will need a favorable environment and all parties from society to help in its development.

The business size of the Chinese sports industry was valued at approximately 400 billion yuan in 2014, 75% of which was contributed by the sporting goods industry, 15% by sports services and less than 10% by sports competition and performance. In the United States, sports services account for up to 60% of the total sports industry. Obviously, the current structure and organisation of the Chinese sports market still leaves something to be desired.

Wang Jianlin, Chairman of Dalian Wanda Group, said, “in accordance with international practice, only sports events, sports brokerage, sports media and other sports segments can be defined as the sports industry. If we measure in this way, the current business size of the Chinese sports industry is 150 billion yuan at most. ”

We need to focus on sports rights (covering events, clubs, sports starts etc.), sports venues, sports brokerage and sports media. These areas are the short board of Chinese sports. Although the rights for the Chinese Super League were sold for 8 billion yuan, good clubs and talents are still scarce resources in China and the current sports venues are far from sufficient to meet the needs of potential users. In sports media, new media companies show an aggressive momentum, spending billions on sports rights. The old media model is in need of transformation, but overall there is still a very mixed picture.


Proofread by John Devlin

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