The star of Once Upon a Time in China and The Expendables is getting into the sporting goods business.
Martial arts movie superstar Jet Li has launched an online video platform, Jetli.com, in an effort to take a slice of China’s rapidly growing sports sector.
The website, called “Jie Li”(街力) in Chinese, is set to feature content around kung-fu as well as other martial arts including boxing, Taekwondo, and other combat sports.
“I haven’t just created JetLi.com on a whim, it’s a continuation of a dream,” Li wrote in a Weibo post on Saturday<.
“Kung-fu isn’t just about punching, kicking, and self-defense, it’s about dedicating yourself to the pursuit of a goal. That’s kung-fu.”
Operated by Shanghai-based Zaomengzhe Development Company, the website will feature original content produced by an in-house team, aimed at a global audience.
The website will also feature an e-commerce section for the sale of martial arts-related merchandise, according to local media reports.
The JetLi.com web address has been in existence since at least December 1998, according to the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine, but its new version represents a significant overhaul.
In recent years, the Chinese government has thrown its weight behind sports in the hope it will become a mainstay of the Chinese economy.
In 2014, China’s State Council, the country’s cabinet, vowed to bring the sports industry’s share of national GDP in line with other developed countries.
The goal would see the industry become a key economic driver, projecting over 500 percent growth to reach US$750 billion by 2025, or 1.3 percent of forecasted GDP.
China has long embraced martial arts, but as yet hasn’t fully capitalized on their global popularity.
Asia-based ONE Championship Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) is already making headway in China with a growing number of events being held there.
Last year, Chinese real-estate-turned entertainment behemoth Dalian Wanda was said to be the leading bidder for the Las Vegas-based Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), along with China Media Capital.