Gain real insight and opinions from some of the most influential movers and shakers of the China winter sports industry. These people bring decades of experience to the table and no one could be better in assessing the state of the industry. Each of them has made his or her mark already and will continue to shape the industry and create a unique legacy. As different as their roles might be, their unwavering quest to provide top notch quality services and state of the art facilities is combined with work ethics that speak to their success.

Let’s shed some light onto the people in the snow industry who make the tune and who pull the strings in the background. Rarely you’ll find more dedicated people, and best of all: they all love winter sports!

The CHINA INTRO TO 2022 series is a five part “Who / What / Where / How” introduction to the tightly knit Chinese winter sports industry with a focus on snowboarding.

Contact Token Consulting to discuss opportunities to collaborate and tap into the largest remaining developing winter sports market!


First, meet Mr. Yanh Li of Dopplmayer up close.


Q: What do you do and since when do you ride or ski?

A: I work for Doppelmayr, the world leading ropeway manufacturer from Austria, since 1995.

Now I am the G.M. of Doppelmayr China since 2007. Doppelmayr was established in 1893 and is the main supplier of ropeways and ski lifts in the tourism and winter sport industry. More than 14,800 installations have been supplied/built all over the world, including at some famous Chinese tourism sites and ski resorts. The market share is about 60% worldwide.

My first time to put on skis was in 1998 and since then I loved this sport and enjoy skiing ever since.


What, in your opinion, needs to be focused on to convert one-time skiers and snowboarders to life long enthusiasts?

Beginners need to experience a fun and safe experience, proper and comfortable equipment is also a key component. I see that the first two hours for a beginner are very critical. This will decide if they like skiing or snowboarding or not. If they can maneuver to stand on the skis and can move forward correctly with confidence, then I would say 80% he/she will come back again to ski, because he/she had fun and is interested in the sport. In addition to the appropriate equipment, such as skis, boots, transport systems, more important even are the ski instructors for the beginners. I talked/proposed to numerous of ski resort owners/managers/operators in the last 20 years to give the first comer-beginners free instruction lessens for two hours, make sure they know the basic and correct entrance to the sport. When they are interested in and want to have more advanced lessens, then you can charge the normal rates of ski instruction/ski school. Thus the turn-over rate will be much more than that of today’s situation. TAKE GOOD CARE OF THE NEW COMERS/BEGINNERS!



Which winter sports disciplines in China are best known and why?

Ice skating is the best known winter sport discipline in China before the success bid of the 2022 Winter Olympics in 2016. Around 30~40 years ago, the weather conditions in the North China were suitable to create outdoor ice rinks during the winter time and a lot of lakes and ponds were also used also as ice skating places.


What is something very typical for the Chinese winter sports industry?

The population is the typical and important factor for the development of the Chinese winter sport industry! To utilise and take advantage of this big volume can greatly benefit any part of the industry.


What changes do you expect within the industry before 2022?

More and more people are attracted to focus on winter sports in China and especially turn to the ski industry. Starting from the children to the grandparents, everyone starts to pay much more attention and participate in it in one way or another. Another important factor is the support of the government at all levels towards the industry and the encouragement to the participate in winter sports. It is also a relatively new growth area of the local economy and people’s daily lives!



What can the industry expect from the impact the Olympics have beyond the 2022 Games?

The prospect of the 2022 Beijing/Zhangjiakou Winter Olympic Games definitely provide a strong stimulus to the development of the ski industry and will have much more influence than people expect. The impact to the industry will be beneficial for many years to come, even post-Olympics. The infrastructures to the ski resorts and around will be improved greatly, including high speed train lines, highways and other facilities that will provide a solid basis of the industry development.



Which area is your chosen focus point for the upcoming season?

In the upcoming season, we at Doppelmayr will focus on the continuing service to the customers in the ski resorts, and we will make sure all the ropeways/ski lifts are in good condition for operation. In addition, the construction of the new installations in the Alpine Center for 2022 Winter Olympics will also a very important task and has to be executed and completed in highest quality and on time.



What would you say to yourself 20 years ago?

Actually, we have predicted and expected that the winter sport/ski industry in China will be a boom with huge potential based on the no. 1 population of the world. That is why Doppelmayr set up its solely owned company already in 1995. Now it is the golden time for the development of the winter sport industry in China.



Secondly, get to know Ms. Rosa of Anshan Resort.




Q: What do you do and since when do you ride or ski?

I am a Snowboarders and started to ride in 2009, I manage Anshan Ski Resort.


What, in your opinion, needs to be focused on to convert one-time skiers and snowboarders to life long enthusiasts?

To turn a beginner into a fan, a good first time experience aided by professional coaching is extremely important.


What are your expectations towards the China winter sports industry before the 2022 Winter Olympics?

There is definitely a great wave of enthusiasm and motivation happening, and I personally wish to see that the industry will get stronger through continued education and training, whether on the instructor side or professional training.


What is something very typical for the Chinese winter sports industry?

Maybe the grand vision of "300 million people participating in winter sports" have helped progress the winter sports industry on multiple levels across China. Skiing and Snowboarding have diversified a bit more from core sports activities to leisure activities. The current rapid development somewhat resembles a gold rush, everyone is excited and wants to join.


What is the industry’s expectation after the 2022 Winter Olympics?

After the 2022 Winter Olympics I hope that the ski industry is getting even bigger, and even more people get involved in sports on snow and ice and fall in love with skiing.  At the same time, the ski culture with Chinese characteristics will be gradually formed.


What would you say to yourself 10 years ago?

Definitely I would like say: Go ski! Because skiing makes everything better.


This series has been developed with the support of the China SNOWboard Association, special thanks to the CSbA President and China’s Pioneer of Snowboarding Wang Lei.