Chinese sports stocks jumped an average of 10% after Beijing announced a plan to boost sports activities across the country and investments in national health and fitness.
Stocks of sports-related companies such as Impulse (Qingdao) Health Tech Co., Shuhua Sports Co. and retailer Topsports International Holdings Ltd. were trading up on Thursday after initially exceeding their daily limits of 10% in Hong Kong during Wednesday’s trading. Lander Sports Development Co., China Sports Industry Group Co. and Jiangsu Jinling Sports Equipment Co. stocks were also on the rise as of 5am GMT.
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The Chinese State Council on Wednesday unveiled a national agenda to boost the population’s fitness. The plan sets the goal of increasing the number of people who exercise at least three times a week, with each session lasting at least 30 minutes, by 38.5% by 2025, while also expanding the scale of the nationwide sports industry to 5 trillion yuan ($773.69 billion) over the next five years. The plan includes setting up 2,000 sports parks, fitness centers, and public sports stadiums, as well as aiding the creation of firms specializing in sporting event organization and fitness equipment manufacturing.
The turn towards upgrading the sports sector comes ahead of the 2022 Winter Olympics, which will take place in Beijing. China’s sports industry was estimated at 2.95 trillion yuan ($457 billion) in 2019, a 10.9% increase from 2018, according to the Global Times. The sector is projected to exceed 3.5 trillion yuan ($542 billion) in 2021, the newspaper states, citing analysts.
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Beijing’s move to promote the sports industry comes amid a crackdown on the after-school education and technology sectors, which prompted a sharp decline in related Chinese stocks over the past months.
On Tuesday, following a state media attack on the country’s video game industry, likening online gaming to drug addiction for children, shares of Tencent Holdings Ltd. and other game developers plunged.
Prior to that, Chinese education firms’ stocks listed in the US suffered their worst month since October 2008, with shares of New Oriental Education & Technology and TAL Education losing over 70%. The losses came after Chinese regulators barred the companies teaching school subjects from raising capital, going public, and making profits. Beijing’s goal is to make education affordable for everyone by making the industry less profit-driven.
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