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Chinese fitness craze lures athleisure business

Chinese consumers are taking to athleisure clothing in a big way. VF Corp, an apparel company that has brands in categories like sportswear and outdoor sports, has grown its Asian market from 20 million dollars to 1.2 billion dollars in the past decade, including over 600 million dollars in China alone.

GPS sport watches, compression leggings and hydration packs are the new must-haves for wealthy Chinese, pumping up the multi-billion dollar sportswear industry.

US companies have been moving fast to take advantage of the growing demand for athletic apparel and goods. Adidas is planning to open 3000 more stores in China in the next five years, expanding from 9000 to 12,000, after its 2015 sales in the region increased 18 per cent.

The sportswear market in China grew to 25.3 billion dollars in 2015 and is expected to grow to 43.1 billion dollars by 2020.

However as US companies are becoming bigger and bigger, they've been edging out Chinese sportswear sellers. Some companies in China are seeing a profit growth slowdown. The main drivers of the sportswear boom, the 2022 Winter Olympics and the potential boost from the end of China’s one child policy, have disproportionately strengthened international athletic-wear companies, leaving Chinese companies to decelerate.