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Enterprises display wide range of products at Qatar tournament

Despite failing to qualify for the ongoing FIFA World Cup final football tournament in Qatar, China is making a big contribution to the biggest global sporting event.

Chinese products, infrastructure projects and sponsors have drawn praise from appreciative fans and potential customers.

In recent months, Luo Yang, a sales manager at the foreign trade unit of Heger Bus Co., a bus and truck maker based in Suzhou, Jiangsu province, has taken a close look at the 1,815 buses delivered to Qatar last year.

These vehicles operate a shuttle service for thousands of fans, officials and journalists from various countries during the tournament, which is being held from 20 November to 18 December.

“After the World Cup, the buses will be used to pick up and drop the children to school,” Luo said. He said that the child monitoring system installed in the vehicles sounds like an alert when the bus reaches the destination. The driver then proceeds through the vehicle to make sure the children are safe before pressing a button to turn off the alert.

Haigar’s rival, Zhengzhou Yutong Group Co., a commercial vehicle manufacturer in Zhengzhou, Henan Province, exported more than 1,500 buses to Qatar for the World Cup, including 888 electric buses. It is the first time that China’s new energy buses have been used in a major global sporting event.

The tournament features a number of Chinese goods, including key rings, horns, flags, clothing and footwear from Yiwu, Zhejiang and Xinjiang in Fujian Province, as well as fireworks from Liuyang in Hunan Province.

Market observers said the abundance of such products is due to China’s industrial upgrading boom, well-developed supply chain and green transformation.

China International Maritime Container (Group), based in Shenzhen, Guangdong Province, was responsible for the construction of Stadium 974 in Qatar, which was assembled from 974 containers and can be easily dismantled.

Air conditioners for the 100 security screening centers at the tournament sites were provided by China’s Midea Group, and communication facilities at the stadiums and network equipment for the joint command and control center were made in China.

Zhao Xinli, dean of the Institute of Advertising at the Communication University of China in Beijing, said that if the elements provided by China for the Qatar event were a “Global Manufacturing World Cup” contesting, “Team China” would certainly be a popular winner.

Xiao Shuhong, professor of sports economics at Beijing Sports University, said China’s contribution to the World Cup reflects the growing importance of the Chinese market to the global economy. Xiao said the tournament, which is held every four years, will greatly promote the development of the global sports economy by creating business opportunities for export-oriented companies in China and other parts of the world.

Buoyed by their complementary trade structure and the World Cup, total trade value between China and Qatar rose 64.7 percent year-on-year to $21.66 billion between January and October, according to China’s General Administration of Customs.

At Lusail Stadium, Qatar’s capital, north of Doha, Unilumin Group, a high-definition screen maker headquartered in Shenzhen, installed two 70-square-meter light-emitting diode, or LED, screens showing scores during matches. The 190-square-metre stadium with a capacity of 80,000 is due to host the final of the tournament on 18 December.

Yang Jun, president of the Qatar market at Unilumin Group’s international sales center, said that since the Gulf countries have high temperatures and strong sunlight, the LED displays used for the World Cup dissipate heat better. They also have higher brightness levels than other screens, Yang said.

“The Qatar World Cup is a microcosm of Chinese brands going global,” he said, adding that the company is set to receive more orders for the Asian Cup football tournament, which will be held in Qatar next year.

Zhang Feng, vice president of Avant Sports Industrial Co., another sports equipment and facility maker based in Shenzhen, expressed similar views, which supplied thousands of movable and retractable seats for eight World Cup venues in Qatar.

Zhang said that with the aim of playing a dynamic role in smart output, China’s manufacturing sector is increasingly relying on green and digital technologies to further compete with global rivals.

“As Qatar is still relatively warm at this time of year, we used a new type of cooling material for the seats, which can reduce the seat surface temperature by 9 to 17 degrees. Over the lifetime of these seats is expected to last more than a decade,” Zhang said.

sponsors welcomed

Even without the presence of a Chinese team in the tournament, Chinese sponsors are enthusiastic about the Qatar World Cup, and have been warmly welcomed by the host country.

According to GlobalData, a London-based data analytics and consulting company, 20 Chinese companies have provided more sponsorship for the 2022 World Cup than rivals from other countries. These companies top the list globally with an outlay of around $1.4 billion, which is higher than the $1.1 billion outlay of US companies.

Chinese companies are led by four official FIFA sponsors – commercial property developer Wanda Group, home appliance maker Hisense Group, smartphone maker Vivo and dairy brand Mengniu.


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