Known primarily as a hub of manufacturing, China has diversified into other sectors in an effort to maintain the country’s strong GDP growth and attract further investment. Whereas factories were once the focus of foreign direct investment (FDI) flows, services and people-focused sectors are now attracting greater attention from overseas investors.
For years, China’s sports industry has been dominated by basketball, tennis and badminton, driven by homegrown stars such as Yao Ming and Li Na and strong leagues. Yet the most lucrative sport of all – football – has lagged behind.
Twenty years ago China’s roads were a sea of locally made vehicles, motorbikes and pedal bikes. The country’s car market has flourished since then, attracting huge investment from domestic and foreign firms. In the past decade, the number of cars sold has rocketed from around 2 million to nearly 20 million a year.