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China to further boost sports, fitness and online education

Zhang Yue
Updated: Aug 28,2019 11:05 PM

China will further promote fitness and sports consumption, and facilitate the sound development of online education as part of effort to raise living standards, the State Council’s executive meeting chaired by Premier Li Keqiang decided on Aug 28.

The Chinese government puts great emphasis on enhancing sports and fitness and bolstering the sports industry. General Secretary Xi Jinping stressed the irreplaceable role of sports in enhancing people’s fitness and health, enriching their cultural life and promoting socio-economic progress, and hence the need for a robust sports industry. Premier Li Keqiang underlined the importance of meeting consumer demand that is fast upgrading, and supporting private parties in supplying more non-essential public services in sports and other fields to better meet the people’s growing, diverse needs.

“Fitness and sports consumption, as well as online education, are important means to expand domestic demand, catalyze economic transformation and improve people’s living standards. There is tremendous potential in these areas. We must do more to fully unlock the potential,” Premier Li said.

It was decided at the meeting that more public sports facilities will be open for effective public use to meet people’s fitness demands. Diversified fitness training and related services will be actively developed targeting different age groups, and the development of fitness products will be encouraged, to shape a habit of fitness activities among a larger population and improve public health.

Market potential will be unlocked when developing the sports industry. More private parties will be facilitated to hold sporting events. All sporting events that meet conditions currently hosted by national sports associations will be handed over to market players. Inter-school sport competitions for teenagers will be encouraged. More supply of sports venues and facilities will be provided.

Private parties will be supported in investing in the construction of sports facilities, and their lawful rights and interests will be protected. The operation of government-invested, newly constructed sports venues should be entrusted to third parties.

“Fitness and sports consumption is a new growth area that comes to the fore as the economy develops to a certain stage. China is still behind developed countries in this regard, yet our people’s wish and demand for such consumption have been steadily increasing. Fitness and sports consumption should also be advanced in tandem with enhancing the fitness of the people,” Premier Li said.

The meeting also discussed measures to promote the sound development of online education. With remarkable advances in modern information technology in recent years, online education has seen fast expansion. The market for online education and training was valued at about 250 billion yuan in 2018.

It was decided at the meeting that Internet Plus Education will be promoted, and various types of eligible market players will be encouraged to develop online education. New, open and inclusive platforms will be established for vocational training and skills upgrading.

Dedicated networks for education will be built at a faster pace, and by 2022, all schools will be connected to fast and stable internet services. Development of diversified online educational resources targeting areas under extreme poverty will be supported. Meanwhile, regulation and oversight will be strengthened to effectively protect the rights and interest of consumers.

“There is now a great need for online education and training. We must build dedicated networks with higher speed for education and facilitate the sharing of quality educational resources to promote equity in education,” Premier Li said.