Sports in China

China has long been associated with the ancient sport/art of martial arts but modern China has risen to become one of the most successful sporting nations in the world, as its second place performance in this year’s Olympics testify. Here are some of the most popular sports in the Peoples Republic of China.


The Chinese claim that they invented Football two thousand years ago, and is by far the most popular sport in the country. Football is regarded as the number one spectator sport with matches attracting huge crowds and it’s estimated that up to three million people attend matches every week during the season at local stadiums during the season. Football is the first sport in Chinese history to become a commercial success and like in Europe Chinese players get paid a lot of money. Poor performances by the national side have done little to lower the sports popularity.

Ping Pong

Ping pong or table tennis, is one of the sports that the Chinese are famous for. Chinese players have won the world championships 60% of the time since the 1950’s and at the 2008 Beijing and 2012 London Olympic Games China won all possible Gold medals. China dominates the sport and no other country has come close to matching their success.


China is the most successful badminton team in history having won the Thomas Cup 9 times and the Uber cup 12 times. The country’s Olympic record is also unmatched and since 1992 the country has won 38 Olympic medals in the sport. China’s government invests a lot of cash into the sport and has a huge pool of talent to choose from.  This is one of the ways that they became the best badminton program in the world.

Kung Fu

China is the home of many martial arts but the most famous and widely practised in the country is Kung-fu or wushu in Chinese. The art is famously practised by Shaolin monks and there are many different versions of the art in existence. The sport is extremely popular in China and around the world with millions of practitioners. For a method of self-defence and a way to get healthy Kung-fu is the perfect sport.