Aug 05, 2016

    Chinese take the road abroad for marathons


    MARATHONS have become a lifestyle choice for many in China, with the market value of the industry exceeding 100 billion yuan (S$20.2 billion) as 800 races are expected to be held across the nation by 2020, a report said.

    More than a quarter of consumers searching for or buying marathon equipment on e-commerce site JD came from Guangdong and Beijing, a report by 21st Century Economic Institute, 21st Century Media Group and e-commerce trader showed.

    The Chinese are no longer satisfied with running at home and attending marathons overseas has become a trend.

    Marathon-related spending is expected to boost the development of goods such as intelligent wearable devices.

    Sports bracelets, running shoes and sports watches are the top three products most frequently searched by runners as they prepare for marathons, the report also noted.

    According to the Mass Fitness Plan 2016-20 issued by the State Council, a five-year roadmap for the sports industry, sports consumption in China will reach 1.5 trillion yuan by 2020.

    The report also showed that sports events catering to the interests of minority groups have gradually been ramped up as enthusiasts have shifted their attention from traditional pursuits to hiking, cycling, camping, climbing and canoeing.

    It was no surprise then that the report pointed out that the demand for basic sports goods declined from 2013 to last year.

    But purchases of fishing and cycling gear increased the fastest.

    Big sports events also see increased consumption of beer, snack foods, large-screen TVs and projectors, said the report.