Doing business in China goes hand-in-hand with lavish banquets and bottles of Baijiu (Chinese rice wine). Combined with the high level of stress on the work floor has increased the likelihood of bad health amongst the Chinese.However, the younger generation is moving away from the unhealthy lifestyle of their predecessors; China has over 415 million millennials with a growing interest for sports and fitness. This booming middle class has discovered fitness only recently but is making a sprint to catch up with their western fellows.

Gym membership has doubled since 2008 totalling to around 7 million members last year. No one doubts the market potential when comparing China (0.3%) gym membership against the US(16%) or The Netherlands(15%). Chinese celebrities and influencers that are posting selfies of themselves working out in the gym have contributed to this growing fitness trend. In addition, the 2016-2020  National Fitness Plan, was launched by the state council in order to develop the fitness and leisure industry. This policy was set up with the goal to ‘ Increase the nations consciousness of health and fitness’ and to grow the output of the sector to more than $442.5 billion by 2025.One of the key schemes aims to develop a sports facility network in which there will be a fitness or sports club within one mile of every resident, in city and countryside(!).

These new measures didn’t go unnoticed amongst international sports companies, current market leaders are Nike and Adidas who have a total market share in Sportswear of 32%. Only recently Reebok (Adidas AG), which is selling Fitness and lifestyle footwear, apparel and equipment,  has announced that it is planning to open 500 stores in China in by 2020.

Categories: eCommercenews

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