BEIJING, Feb. 27 (Xinhua) -- China's fitness industry is undergoing a new round of transformation, with the closure of physical gyms and the boom of online fitness largely due to the outbreak of the novel coronavirus pneumonia, reported Securities Daily.
Affected by the epidemic, almost all offline gyms have been shut down. Leading health and fitness platforms in China such as Keep, Supermonkey, and Nirvana Sports have recently announced to extend the closure of their physical stores with no specific timetable for re-opening.
These brands, meanwhile, have launched live-streaming fitness classes, which gain popularity during people's home quarantine as a result of epidemic control.
Data showed that the live sports streaming campaign, jointly launched by Keep and 10-odd brands including Daily Yoga and yoga outfit maker Lululemon, has attracted more than 56 million of participants as of today, with daily participation growing at 145 percent.
As of February 16, 2.31 million views were made within 11 days after the Internet-backed sports firm Lefit released its online courses, while millions of people watched live videos published by Supermonkey, a Shenzhen-based health management and fitness brand, at peak hours.
Users' habit of online fitness is further developed amid the epidemic, and the segment is expected to usher in a new round of rapid growth, according to industry insiders.
The popularity of online fitness also indicates opportunities for live streaming platforms.
Through live workout programs, TT Live Fitness, a fitness startup, has seen its user base expand at a daily compound rate of 20 percent within 15 days. By the end of the first quarter, the total number of the company's users may be 10 to 20 times that of before, said Zhang Kang, founder of the company.
Online platforms boast some advantages. They can provide more convenient and effective way for fitness instructors to move online, and offer more options for users as brands begin to join hands in creating an online fitness world, added Zhang.
The epidemic is expected to accelerate the offline and online business integration of traditional gyms. To be specific, traditional gyms need to find the needs of online users and persuade them to join offline communities, according to Li Ruoming, Keep's director of public relations.
The fitness industry in China has been developing rapidly in recent years, due to the increasing public health awareness and lifestyle-related consumption upgrade. The industry generated about 7.53 billion U.S. dollars of revenue in 2019, showing an annual increase of 8.6 percent over the past five years, according to IBISWorld, one of the world's largest publisher of industry intelligence. (Edited by Su Dan, email@example.com)