The State Council has issued a plan to develop fitness and leisure industry, setting up a goal to increase the output of the sector to more than 3 trillion yuan ($442.5 billion) by 2025.
By then, a healthy ecosystem will be created, with reasonable industry structure, richer supply of fitness products and facilities, higher demand of consumption and higher qualified service, according to the official document released on Oct. 28, 2016.
It called to improve the fitness and leisure service system in the country by developing daily bodybuilding activities, outdoor sports, and sports with cultural characteristics, promoting sports tourism, and integrating Internet Plus with the industry’s development.
Daily fitness sports, such as soccer, basketball, volleyball, ping-pong, tennis, and running, should be further promoted and popularized, said the document. Some other outdoor and fashion sports development should also be speeded up, including winter, mountaineering, water sports, motor sports, equestrian, and golf. The sports with cultural characteristics, like kung fu, dragon boat, and lion dancing, are also included in the plan.
The plan also urged to develop sports tourism and support the industry development with technologies, such as internet, Big Data, and cloud computing.
As far as cultivating market players in the industry is concerned, the plan said fitness and leisure corporations and social organizations should be encouraged to expand businesses, and some quality Chinese brands are encouraged to seek more support from capital market — such as making IPO and issuing bonds — in order to improve their international competitiveness and become world-class corporations.
It calls on local authorities to set up incubator platforms to support startups focused on fitness and leisure, especially those launched by retired athletes. In addition, nongovernment sports organizations are also encouraged to expand their services and replace, to some extent, the public sports services provided by the government.
Apart from supporting single sports and company, the document also calls for an optimized industry structure. Proportion of service sector in the industry is urged to be raised. Leading fitness clubs, activities, industrial bases and projects should be built to set examples for the industry development.
Regions with unique natural resources, including forest, waters, wetland, mountains, and deserts, are encouraged to develop specific sports that fit with the local condition, in order to create their own brand.
The document called for construction of fitness and leisure facilities by making use of urban areas including parklands, vacant spaces, building rooftops and basements — creating fitness spaces within 15 minutes’ distance.
In addition, it urged utilizing existing stadium resources, accelerating enterprises and institutions to open their sports facilities to the public, and encouraging schools’ facilities to stay open after class and in holidays.
A number of special fitness and recreational facilities such as mountain and outdoor camps, recreational vehicle camps, and hiking and riding service stations should also be constructed, the document said.
To enhance the research, development, and manufacturing capacity for fitness and recreational equipment, the government encouraged enterprises, scientific research institutions, and social organizations to form cross-industry alliances, and support fitness equipment manufacturing enterprises to extend their business to service sectors, conduct overseas mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, and joint development.
The document planned to support enterprises in developing tailored equipment for the varied needs of different age groups, as well as research equipment with frontier technology such as wearable sports equipment and virtual reality sports equipment.
At the same time, related policies should be improved to provide more convenience and protection for different fitness groups, popularize scientific knowledge of fitness, attract social funds to invest in the sports industry, strengthen fitness management talent, as well as establish service criteria and quality standard in the fitness and recreational sector in terms of service, skills training, activity management, infrastructure construction, and equipment manufacturing.