Chinese cities bid for the Winter Olympics : from Harbin’s failure to Beijing and Zhangjiakou’s success

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)


Chinese cities have participated twice in bidding for the hosting rights of the Winter Olympics. While Harbin was eliminated in 2002, Beijing and Zhangjiakou won 13 years later. This article aims to examine the reasons for their respective failure and success. The findings confirm that Chinese local governments – at both provincial and municipal levels – lack the competence to independently make successful bids and that Chinese political leaders’ support and rival cities’ withdrawal were the keys to improving the odds for the Chinese bids.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)120-131
Number of pages12
JournalAsia Pacific Journal of Sport and Social Science
Issue number2
Early online date19 Jun 2016
Publication statusPublished - 2016



  • Winter Olympics bids
  • Harbin
  • Beijing and Zhangjiakou
  • Chinese leaders
  • Chinese local goverments

Cite this