With the 2022 Winter Games around the corner, Beijing says it wants to make sports a $773 billion industry for China by 2025.
Up 70% increase from 2019 levels, the figure represents an effort to drive the economy by creating jobs and attracting investment. In turn, China has increased sports spending and set new national goals for the sector.
- It plans to increase the number of people participating in regular physical activity to 38.5% by 2025.
- The country wants to make sure every community has gym equipment, with plans to build and renovate more than 2,000 stadiums, sports parks, and fitness centers.
- It plans to have three million people employed as fitness trainers.
Chinese sneaker manufacturers and other sports-related companies saw shares jump after the goals were released last week.
If Beijing’s goals are met by 2025, the sports industry would total 3.3% of China’s gross domestic product, up from 2.5% in 2015.
Beijing already has a $3.9 billion budget for the 2022 Games in February, but with a surge in COVID-19 cases and boycotts looming from countries around the world, there’s a chance Beijing could face the same tough decisions as Tokyo about whether or not to cancel the games.