BEIJING (Reuters) – On the brown slopes around largely arid Beijing and at other Winter Olympics venues, China will be churning out vast amounts of artificial snow to pave ski runs and jump ramps, but there is one thing the country cannot make yet – quality snow equipment.
Domestic standards for producing ice and snow equipment are “basically a blank”, China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) lamented in a notice on Wednesday, with the industry “mostly dominated by foreign brands.”
European names have a 60% share of the global winter sports supply chain, while U.S. companies take up 30%, according to industry estimates.
It is “urgent” that China sets up a special work group to draft and promote production standards for equipment such as snow makers, snow grooming machines and all-terrain snow vehicles, the ministry said.
The focus should be on producing mid-range and high-end equipment, but eventually, leaders in all equipment categories, the ministry added.
China hopes to turn 300 million people into skiers and snow boarders in the coming years and eyes a sector expected to reach 1 trillion yuan ($149.19 billion) in value by 2025.
As of 2020, China had more than 700 ski resorts and around 1,000 ice rinks.
Beijing hosts the 2022 Winter Games from Feb. 4 to Feb. 20.
(Reporting by Albee Zhang and Ryan Woo; Editing by Shrivathsa Sridhar)