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China claims 15.3-per-cent growth in sports sector in 2018

Dajing Wu of China celebrates winning gold in the Men's 500m Short Track Speed Skating Final A on day thirteen of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at Gangneung Ice Arena on February 22, 2018 in Gangneung, South Korea. (Remote Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)

China’s National Bureau of Statistics and General Administration of Sport have announced that total sports sector output grew 15.3 per cent year-on-year in 2018 to hit ¥2.6tn ($376.4bn).

The figure represents the country’s most recent assessment of the size of its sports industry. The industry accounted for 1.1 per cent of China’s total GDP for 2018.

The value of the industry has risen sharply in recent years. In 2016, it was valued at $276bn, an 11.1-per-cent increase from the year before. In 2017, it grew by another 15.7 per cent year-on-year to $320bn.

Manufacturing of sports products and related items reached ¥1.3tn in 2018, an increase of 34.7 per cent from 2017. Sports services also grew strongly, with the value of the ‘sports contests’ and ‘fitness activities’ sub-sectors increasing by 54 per cent and 53 per cent year-on-year, respectively.

Construction of sports facilities like parks and stadiums reached ¥646bn, an increase of 23.2 per cent. Work in this sector has been speeding up as the country’s seeks to get more citizens to exercise and engage in sport.

In October last year, the Chinese government revised its landmark 2014 plan for the development of the country’s sports ecosystem. The original plan aimed to create an industry worth ¥5tn per year by 2025. The revised plan did not contain such a target.