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Young Chinese are heading to the movies in droves

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china movie theaterHaving grown up in relatively prosperous times, entertainment is a bigger priority for China’s youth than for generations past.

People under 30 comprise 52 percent of Chinese film audiences and have fueled box-office sales growth of 40 percent a year for the last five years.

With plans to open 700 new theaters, Chinese chain Wanda Cinema could see its market share double to 30 percent by 2020, according to Credit Suisse.

Meanwhile, the Chinese government has predicted the sports industry – everything from the broadcasting, advertising and sponsorship rights associated with professional sports, as well as events such as marathons – will grow 25 percent a year to reach 3 trillion yuan ($462 billion) by 2025, partly through sales of broadcast rights for professional football and basketball games.

But young people aren’t just watching – they’re also participating: the number of marathon runners in the country doubled to 1 million between 2012 and 2014. An increasing focus on physical fitness should benefit China’s largest sportswear company, Anta, while the growing popularity of road races should be good for Wisdom Sports Group, which organizes such events.

Travel adventures are also increasingly appealing to China’s youth. Having already explored their backyards – Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, and Thailand – young travelers are venturing to islands such as Sri Lanka, the Maldives, and Saipan as well as the Middle East and Africa.

Young people scorn the guided group tours their parents have famously embraced, often booking trips online less than three days in advance and using social networks and forums to find recommendations and even travel buddies. Expect Ctrip, China’s largest online travel agency, to benefit from this travel bug.

The same goes for CITS, a state-owned corporation and the only duty-free shop licensed to operate in China, as travelers under 30 spend 54 percent more shopping on vacation than older tourists do.

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