The JD Research Institute for Consumption and Industrial Development, a research organ operated by leading Chinese e-commerce giant JD.com, released a report on Friday offering insight into winter sports consumption in China. In one key trend, search volume for “Bing Dwen Dwen,” the official mascot of the ongoing Winter Olympics in Beijing, accounted for 90%, with over 10 million people searching for the topic.
The popularity of Bing Dwen Dwen is a microcosm of China’s current fever for winter sports, which are no longer exclusive to the northern areas of the country. Various indoor and outdoor winter sports venues and training institutions in southern China have been vigorously developed, attracting more and more enthusiasts in the south. Among these areas, the southwestern province of Sichuan has become the number four destination for winter sports lovers in China.
With the Winter Olympics going on, many southerners are full of enthusiasm for winter sports. During the country’s Lunar New Year Festival in 2022, the provinces of Guangxi, Anhui, Yunnan, Hubei and Hunan saw the fastest growth rate of winter sports-related consumption, with year-on-year growth rates exceeding four times.
Data released by JD.com show that between ice and snow sports, skiers account for a larger proportion, maintaining a slow annual upward trend. Among all ice and snow sports users, the proportion of ski sports increased from 88% in 2018 to 90% in 2021.
Among the many events in the Winter Olympics, snowboarding and freestyle skiing appear to be the two most popular ones. Young people tend to be more keen on snowboarding. Because of its unique sliding style and clothing trends, snowboarding has gradually become a fashion, and more and more young people have begun snowboarding. According to JD.com, nearly 70% of snowboarders are around 35 years old.
With the large-scale construction of indoor venues and the popularity of ice and snow sports trips, people can enjoy winter sports all year round. The proportion of ice and snow sports consumption in warmer seasons continues to increase, and the normalization of these sports will be the trend in the future.
However, winter will obviously remain the key season for ice and snow sports, especially skiing. Data from JD.com show that skiing consumption accounts for more than 70% during the peak seasons (November, December and January), but the proportion shows a downward annual trend. The construction of more indoor venues allows enthusiasts to cross conventional seasonal restrictions.
Data collected by JD.com show that ice sports participants prefer roller skating, swimming and yoga, while skiing lovers favor swimming, cycling and yoga.