- Hanhan Xue, Ph.D. Florida State University
- Joshua I. Newman, Ph.D. Florida State University
China’s sport system has undergone significant structural changes in recent years—most notably in the expansion and development of its commercial and professional sectors. As outlined in a national policy guideline titled Opinions on Accelerating the Development of Sports Industry and Promoting Sports Consumption released in 2014, the state government is planning to expand the Chinese sport industry to 5 trillion yuan (about US$756 billion) by 2025 (Yan, 2016). The Chinese state decision to develop the nation’s sport industry marks a new wave of capitalizing on the emerging sport market in China. The exemplar of this state capitalist approach is the successful bid for a largely privatized Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics (which stand in stark contrast the state capital model used to finance the Beijing 2008 Summer Olympic Games). Further, business investors have become active buyers of various sport organizations and media rights. Perhaps this is best exemplified when, in 2015, the Beijing-based Ti’ao Dongli Sports Communications purchased a five-year (2016-2020) broadcasting right of Chinese Super League (the highest tier of Chinese professional soccer) at the price of 8 billion yuan (about US$1.3 billion) (Xinhua News Agency, 2016). Moreover, the Chinese state and local governments have loosened their respective administrative practices of various sporting events and enterprises whilst actively engaged in industry-wide efforts by building massive “sport industry bases” (zones or regions specifically designated for developing sport industry) (Xinhua News Agency, 2016).
These trends toward the marketization of the political and cultural economies of the Chinese sport system are further evidenced in the continued growth of both participation and consumption of sport and recreation-based activities, goods, events, and programs. According to the 2014 National Fitness Survey, the number of urban and rural residents who participate in physical exercise was 400 million and the percentage of those who regularly participate in sports reached 33.9% in 2014, significantly higher than the year of 2007 (General Administration of Sports of China, 2015).
Moreover, the spending power of sport consumers continue to climb, driven by increased national spending in sportswear, sport drinks, sport equipment, and gym or fitness membership. This increase in participation and consumption has been exacerbated by the furthered integration and democratization of the Chinese (social) media environment; whereby Chinese sport consumers now widely augment (and in some cases define) their sport-based activities through Wechat and Weibo (the most popular Chinese social media platforms) (Nielsen, 2015).
In the context of these state- and market-led transformations in China’s elite, mass, and industrial sport sectors, the main purpose of this special issue is to explore current economic, cultural, political, and social trends of sport in China. Contributors are invited to submit both empirically- and theoretically-informed manuscripts that provide new insights into China’s significant and changing sport landscape. Possible topics and themes for papers featured in this special issue may include (but are certainly not limited to):
- Sport and Chinese state marketing
- The politics and economies of China-based sport mega-events (and legacy thereof)
- Sport-based public-private partnerships (PPPs) in China
- Transnational cooperation and the Chinese sports industry
- Manufacturing, service, and athletic labor in the Chinese sports sector
- Chinese sport media cultural products
- Community sport in China
- The expanding role of social media in Chinese sport
- Sport for development in China
- Sport and corporate social responsibility in China
We invite a wide range of articles, essays, and creative works that will embrace and carry your work and/or the conference experience into the journal; scholars, researchers, and practitioners across disciplines and drawing upon a wide range of methods are encouraged to submit.
If you have an interest in pursuing a manuscript for submission, please send an initial proposal (including a working title and a 150-200 word abstract) through e-mail to Dr. Hanhan Xue (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Dr. Joshua Newman (email@example.com) by September 1st, 2016. The final manuscript must be submitted for review no later than March 1st, 2017 through the Taylor and Francis portal located at: http://www.edmgr.com/rass/default.aspx.
Authors should follow the “Instructions for Authors” used in every issue of the Asian Pacific Journal of Sport and Social Science found at: http://www.tandfonline.com/action/authorSubmission?journalCode=rass20&page=instructions
Please address any questions to the special issue co-editors: