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Mountain climbing becomes commercial undertaking in China

Mountain climbing becomes commercial undertaking in China

Staff Reporter

2014-06-15

The controversy surrounding Wang Jing, co-founder of a Chinese outdoor sporting goods brand, who took a helicopter for part of her Mount Everest climb, has exposed once again the prevalence of commercial mountain climbing and other sports in China, reports Guangzhou’s Time Weekly.

Wang Jing initially denied the claims before later admitting to Chinese media that she took a helicopter from the base camp to the second camp before climbing the last section to reach the top of Mount Everest on May 23.

The craze of commercial mountain climbing was initiated by Wang Shi, chairman of China Vanke, a leading realty firm, who was lauded for climbing Mt Everest at the age of 53 in May 2003. It prompted many other businesspeople to follow suit in order to forge an image of a modern entrepreneur, the paper said.

In addition to mountain climbing, some entrepreneurs have also engaged in adventurous expeditions or mountain cycling. However, it has become dubious whether they are fond of the sports or just using the acts as an instrument for brand promotion. This theory has once again found traction following the Wang Jing incident, Time Weekly said.

“Wang cheated in climbing Mt Everest, violating athletic ethics and undertaking falsified marketing, as she attempted to bolster her brand’s imaging by winning the identification of consumers with a story involving a female sports lover who overcame the world’s highest mountain against unfavorable odds,” Wu Shiling, chairman of Randonneurs of China, told the paper.

Many entrepreneurs have engaged in sports as a vehicle for socializing and business, with the purpose of pursuing a better quality of life only serving as a subordinate goal, the paper said.

 

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KB Kee is the Managing Editor of the Moat Report Asia (www.moatreport.com), a research service focused exclusively on highlighting undervalued wide-moat businesses in Asia; subscribers from North America, Europe, the Oceania and Asia include professional value investors with over $20 billion in asset under management in equities, some of the world’s biggest secretive global hedge fund giants, and savvy private individual investors who are lifelong learners in the art of value investing. KB has been rooted in the principles of value investing for over a decade as an analyst in Asian capital markets. He was head of research and fund manager at a Singapore-based value investment firm. As a member of the investment committee, he helped the firm’s Asia-focused equity funds significantly outperform the benchmark index. He was previously the portfolio manager for Asia-Pacific equities at Korea’s largest mutual fund company. KB has trained CEOs, entrepreneurs, CFOs, management executives in business strategy, value investing, macroeconomic and industry trends, and detecting accounting frauds in Singapore, HK and China. KB was a faculty (accounting) at SMU teaching accounting courses. KB is currently the Chief Investment Officer at an ASX-listed investment holdings company since September 2015, helping to manage the listed Asian equities investments in the Hidden Champions Fund. Disclaimer: This article is for discussion purposes only and does not constitute an offer, recommendation or solicitation to buy or sell any investments, securities, futures or options. All articles in the website reflect the personal opinions of the writer.

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