by Neha Aggarwal
Four time Olympic gold medalist, 43-year old Chinese legend Deng Yaping has co-founded an investment fund partnering with Zhongyuan Asset Management Co. Ltd. The massive investment fund lays its focus on China’s rapidly growing sports sector which is currently valued around 320 billion yuan and is expected to grow by 15 times to 3 trillion yuan by the end of 2025.
According to the Global Times, the fund established by Deng Yaping plans to raise about five billion yuan ($737.9 million) from the capital market. The first round of fundraising is expected to hit 500 million yuan.
The fund will focus its investments in unlisted enterprises as well as in sports, culture, tourism, technology, and health sectors. Within sports, they will focus on investment in the fields of sports events, stadium construction and operation, sports goods manufacturing and sales, sports training and sports rehabilitation, sports tourism, sports media and sports exhibitions. This will also play an important role in boosting the development of sports industry in Henan Province of China.
China’s sports industry is expected to reach three trillion yuan by the end of 2025, the guidelines said, noting that private capital will be encouraged to participate in the development of the sports industry in the country.
Deng Yaping is widely known as the most successful female table tennis player in the history. She was the top-ranked woman in the world for eight consecutive years from 1991. A naturally attacking player of small stature, she won 18 individual and team titles at either Olympic or world level during her illustrious career and was named Chinese Sports Personality of the Century in 1999. She won four world titles and four Olympic gold medals.
She retired from competitive table tennis in 1997 and post retirement went on working for the International Olympic Committee, organizing committee of the Beijing Olympic Games and the General Administration of Sport in China. She most recently worked at internet search engine Jike.com, where she left her role as chief executive in June after a six-year tenure.
She now has her eyes set on her investment fund!