Putting their skates on to boost out­put

China Daily (Canada) - - BUSINESS BUSINESS - By JING SHUIYU in Bei­jing and TIAN XUEFEI in Harbin

A Qiqi­har-based skates man­u­fac­turer will in­vest 550 mil­lion yuan ($79.4 mil­lion) in ex­pand­ing pro­duc­tion in the next five years, fore­cast­ing bumper winter sports sea­sons.

Hei Long Ice Skates Man­u­fac­tur­ing Co Ltd, a pri­vate com­pany, said it would in­crease its pro­duc­tion of skates to 3 mil­lion units a year by 2020, and would start to pro­duce snow­boards, ski boards and pro­tec­tive equip­ment.

Its an­nual ski and snow­board pro­duc­tion ca­pac­ity will be 200,000 units within five years and pro­tec­tive equip­ment pro­duc­tion will hit 340,000, ac­cord­ing to the com­pany. less pop­u­lar than sum­mer sports among Chi­nese, as they can be more eas­ily af­fected by the en­vi­ron­ment and ge­o­graph­i­cal con­di­tions,” said Huang Yal­ing, pro­fes­sor at Bei­jing Sport Uni­ver­sity.

“But winter sports will flour­ish in more places in the near fu­ture be­cause of tech­no­log­i­cal de­vel­op­ment, like snow-mak­ing equip­ment,” Huang said.

Lo­cal gov­ern­ments are map­ping out poli­cies to en­gage more cit­i­zens in winter sports.

China’s north­east­ern prov­ince of Heilongjiang, where Hei Long’s op­er­a­tions are lo­cated, is rich in nat­u­ral re­sources suit­able for winter sports. Gover­nor LuHao was quoted by web por­tal Sohu.com as say­ing that the prov­ince would in­te­grate sports, cul­ture and tourism re­sources to boost its econ­omy.

Bei­jing will im­prove pub­lic ser­vices for winter sport­sand pro­mote skill and fit­ness, Sun Xue­cai, di­rec­tor of the Bei­jing Mu­nic­i­pal Bureau of Sports, said at a news con­fer­ence.

Shan said that coun­try-level plans and lo­cal pol­icy de­ci­sions would of­fer plenty of op­por­tu­ni­ties to his com­pany, and he pro­jected an out­put of 1 bil­lion yuan in 2020 and 3 bil­lion yuan in 2025.

Hei Long halted pro­duc­tion in 2012 be­cause of shrink­ing prof­its. Af­ter a three-year absence, Shan de­cided to re­sume busi­ness in June 2015, as there are an in­creas­ing num­ber of peo­ple show­ing in­ter­est in skat­ing and ski­ing.

Within six months af­ter Shan re­opened the com­pany, rev­enue hit 10.07 mil­lion yuan.

To shore up growth, the com­pany said it was in­vest­ing in re­search and de­vel­op­ment, pro­mot­ing its brand name, and launch­ing a mar­ket­ing cam­paign.

Con­tact the writ­ers at tianx­ue­fei@ chi­nadaily.com.cn


Skiers per­form dur­ing the open­ing cer­e­mony of a ski re­sort in Changchun, Jilin prov­ince.

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