Feb 15, 2022|

Winter Olympics Spark Ice & Snow Sports Consumption in China


by Yiming Yan

The Beijing Winter Olympics have stimulated Chinese people’s enthusiasm for ice and snow sports, which has also triggered a surge in associated consumption.

According to JD.com, searches for Olympic mascot “Bing Dwen Dwen” on the JD App have at times accounted for 90% of site traffic, with over 10 million searches done during the Spring Festival Grand Promotion.

The mascot’s appeal is a microcosm of the recent “ice-and-snow fever.” Since January 9, Guangxi, Anhui, Yunnan, Hubei, and Hunan have been among the provinces and autonomous regions with the fastest-growing winter sports consumption, according to the JD Research Institute for Consumption and Industrial Development. To put that in context, ice and snow equipment turnover climbed by 107 percent YOY, while garment turnover increased by 99 percent, and winter sports safety gear increased by 41 percent.

Search results of Eileen Gu on JD.com

In addition, the data revealed the following regional and population features of winter sports consumption: Sports consumption has long been not limited to the north, with southern regions’ consumption such as Zhejiang and Sichuan ranking among the top five. During the Spring Festival Grand Promotion, the five provinces and autonomous region with the fastest YOY growth were all in the south: Guangxi, Anhui, Yunnan, Hubei, and Hunan all had growth rates exceeding 400 percent.

When it came to consumer categorization, the primary drivers of consumption growth were women and children. More than 70 percent of snowboarding customers are under the age of 35. In 2021, female consumers spent 248 percent more on ice and snow activities, while men spent 181 percent more compared with last year.

Eileen Gu (“Gu Ailing” in Chinese), JD.com’s retail endorser and a world-class skier, won the gold medal in the women’s big jump in the freestyle skiing at the Beijing Winter Olympics on February 8.

Following Gu’s win, the total sales of her promoted items in JD.com on the day increased by 8.4 times compared to the opening day of the Winter Olympics on February 4, and the sales of Gu Ailing’s identical Anta clothes soared by more than 20 times.