Chinese developer eyes shift to 'lifestyle' projects featuring mountain biking, golf and other sports

By Daniel Ren in Shanghai / | May 14, 2019 10:48 AM SGT
Mainland developer Greenland Hong Kong has charted a new course into sport and entertainment businesses as a way of further cutting its reliance on property construction and sales.
Chen Jun, chairman and chief executive of the Hong Kong-listed company, told the Post that sport facilities, sport coaching services and entertainment complexes will be included in its developments in Kunming, Nanning, Haikou and Yellow Mountain with an aim to create new growth engines in the coming years.
"The days that Chinese developers built and sold homes are history," he said. "As a developer, I believe it is time now to make better use of the developments and turn them into new lifestyle areas, hence drive business growth in future."
On Monday, Greenland Hong Kong formed a partnership with Shankai Sports International which engages in sports business development services.
Chen said golf competitions, golf coaching services, water sport activities, mountain biking and other outdoor sports would be developed by the company in a "step-by-step approach".
"In future, our projects are supposed to be the new landmarks of the cities where they are based," he said. "We want to team with the best-class sport and entertainment services providers to achieve the goal."
Chen Jun, chairman and chief executive of Greenland Hong Kong Holdings. Photo: SCMP
Greenland Hong Kong is a unit of Shanghai's largest developer, Greenland Holdings.
The Hong Kong-listed company reported underlying profits of 1.73 billion yuan (US$255.91 million) in 2018, up 32 per cent from a year earlier.
The developer concluded presale agreements worth 37.93 billion yuan through selling unfinished flats last year, representing a gain of 26 per cent on year.
Greenland Hong Kong is expanding its non-property businesses as Beijing and local governments regularly roll out curbs to prevent overheating in the property sector.
It recently launched a medical institution in Shanghai with its partners, Provectus Care, an Australian elderly care company, and Shanghai International Medical Centre, which focuses on treatments for Alzheimer's disease.
The company's Hong Kong shares rose 2 per cent to HK$3.14 on Tuesday, bringing its year-to-date gain to 65.4 per cent.
Feng Tao, chief executive of Shankai Sports. Photo: SCMP
"In the long run, we hope to expand our businesses to other developments across the country, instead of offering services at only our own projects," he said.
A growing awareness on health on the mainland has sparked soaring demand for sportswear, sport facilities and events over the past five years.
Last year, more than 1,000 marathon events were organised by local authorities nationwide, reflecting a surge compared to 2013 when just over 100 events were held.
Feng Tao, chief executive of Shankai Sports, said 70 per cent of sport businesses on the mainland are related to sportswear sales.
"With sport businesses keeping its growth momentum in China, 70 per cent of sales will eventually come from the service providers as more people engage with sport activities," he said.
This article originally appeared in the South China Morning Post (SCMP), the most authoritative voice reporting on China and Asia for more than a century. For more SCMP stories, please explore the SCMP app or visit the SCMP's Facebook and Twitter pages. Copyright © 2019 South China Morning Post Publishers Ltd. All rights reserved.
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