Guangzhou will develop 81 functional zones to promote the development of sports and sports consumption, according to the city’s 13th Five-year Plan on the sports industry.
The sports industry has become one of China's most dynamic sectors since the State Council issued a document to direct its development in 2014.
Officials estimate the nation’s sports industry will generate more than 3 trillion yuan in business by 2020. The industry's added value will reach 1 percent of GDP, the authorities say, while sports consumption will hit 2.5 percent of disposable income per capita by then.
In developed countries, the sports industry usually contributes 1 to 3 percent of GDP and plays an important role in creating jobs. In comparison, China's sports industry is still in its infancy and has huge room to grow.
Since the General Administration of Sport published the 13th Five-year Plan on the sports industry in 2016, specific measures have been taken by the Guangzhou government to support the plan.
The city government plans to build 15 municipal-level and 66 district-level functional sports zones, which are urban areas with sports industry clusters, providing professional and public athletic services. By the year 2020, the average space for Guangzhou citizens to take exercise will reach 2.5 square meters, while the total number of residents participating in sports will exceed 7.9 million, according to official estimates.