The COVID-19 pandemic had a huge impact on China's sports industry in the past year. With almost all major domestic and international sporting events rescheduled or canceled, sports-related companies experienced a difficult time.
Last August, China's largest sportswear company Anta Sports posted revenue of 14.669 billion yuan (2.12 billion U.S. dollars) in the first half of 2020, decreasing by one percent year-on-year as the COVID-19 pandemic hit the market hard.
However, in the second half of the year, the situation improved more than expected. In November, Anta Sports announced its turnover on e-commerce platforms, reaching 2.84 billion yuan (about 430 million U.S. dollars) during "Single's Day", 53 percent up from last year.
"As China has done a remarkable job in fighting against the pandemic, we remain positive and confident about China's consumer market and the growth of China's sports industry," said Ding Shizhong, the Chairman and CEO of Anta.
For Ding, sci-tech innovation will be a key part of the company's future plans.
Ding suggests that the government should encourage sci-tech innovation in winter sports industry. Anta has also been focusing on international cooperation in recent years, and Ding thinks the cooperation will be positive to his company and China's sports industry.
"The 2022 Winter Olympics is coming and the sport consumption is upgrading, so our sports industry, especially the winner sports industry, is growing fast," he said.
For another Chinese sports industry giant Shandong Mount Tai Sports Industry Group, sci-tech innovation is also important.
"The development of our sports rely on technology," said Bian Zhiliang the Chairman of the Mount Tai Sports. "And sci-tech innovation is the power for sports industry."
Mount Tai Sports has a research and development group which includes more than 300 members.
"We hope we can get more support in areas such as new material and chip technology," Bian said.
For China's first-ever Winter Olympic champion Yang Yang, Chinese sports industry has a bright future.
"The concept of public fitness is gaining popularity amid the COVID-19 pandemic, and people are paying more and more attention on their own health," Yang said.
"That's definitely good news for the sports industry."