Tsinghua University Center for Development of Sports Industry launched The 2020 China's Sports Service Trade Report at CIFTIS

On September 4, the International Sports Service Trade Development Forum of the 2021 China International Fair for Trade in Services (CIFTIS) was held at Shougang Park in Beijing. The theme of the fair was "New Opportunities, New Journey, and New Paradigm". The 2020 China's Sports Service Trade Report, led by Dr. Wang Xueli, Director of Tsinghua University Center for Development of Sports Industry (TUDSI) under the cooperation between TUDSI and the Sports Economy Department of the General Administration of Sport of China (GASC), was released at the forum. The report is a comprehensive analysis of the development of China's sports service trade, focusing on issues to be addressed and suggestions for the stable growth of the sector.


The report notes that China has become the world's largest trading nation thanks to its rapid economic growth, and the sports service trade has become an important component of the country's trade and service industries. TUDSI has researched China's sports industry since 2018, developing a comprehensive and in-depth understanding of the industry's present and future trends.  

The report shows that China is active in six major sectors of sports service trade, including professional sporting events, professional sports training, sponsorship, sports events copyright trades, online sports services, and sports tourism. In 2020, China's total import and export trade volume in this area dropped by 89.03% year-on-year to 18.25 billion yuan. These six sectors accounted for 0.4% of total annual trade volume in services. The breakdown was 17.56 billion yuan in imports, accounting for 96.18%, and 690 million yuan in exports, accounting for 3.82% of the total respectively. 

According to the report, China's sports service trade has three features. First, imports and exports shrank dramatically; second, sports service exports remained relatively stable; third, sports tourism services trade took a heavy blow.

As the report highlights, the COVID-19 pandemic led to a nosedive in China's sports service trade. While the overall sector has been affected, sports tourism took the hardest hit.  

The report concludes that COVID-driven changes will present precious opportunities for growth in China's sports service trade. With new ideas, new channels, and new business models, the sector will achieve higher quality development by broadening visions, cementing the industrial foundation and restructuring. In doing so, it can contribute more to the new development paradigm within the domestic market and become part of the solution to challenges facing the world economy, international trade and investment. In addition, the sports service trade will become a pillar for both domestic and overseas economic growth. 

TUDSI is a university-based research body jointly established by Tsinghua University and Imedia Group. The Tsinghua-based think tank was recognized by GASC in 2018 as one of the first research bases of the sports industry, and in 2019 became a high-level partner with the Chinese Tennis Association. Its research scope covers policies and regulations, long-term planning, development trend, and business practices of domestic and foreign sports industries. It has developed impactful results thanks to its long-term close attention to and lasting efforts in fields such as industrial planning, sport-themed towns, and the development of each sport as well as marketing, sport charity, training of sport professionals, and youth athletics. Some published works by TUDSI are as follows: The Development Plan for The Marathon Industry; The Development Plan for The Biking Industry; The Development Plan for Aquatics and Beach Sport in Hainan; The Planning and Implementation of A Tennis-Loving Chaoyang district; A White Paper on The Horse Racing Industry in Hainan; Brand Evaluation of China's Marathon Races; The Policy Pathway of Building a National Sports Industry Demonstration Zone in the New Shougang Area; Post-Winter Olympics Operation and Planning of the Shougang Park.

Source: Tsinghua University Center for Development of Sports Industry

Editors: REN Zhongxi, Roan Henry Guinan