Mountain climbing becomes commercial undertaking in China

Mountain climbing becomes commercial undertaking in China

Staff Reporter


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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