David Pierson of LA Times has the answer, and it all boils down to one thing: Self defense.
In recent years, the offensive tool of America’s national pastime has become a defensive weapon of choice in China.
Though baseball has barely made a dent in the consciousness of Chinese sports fans, bats are a familiar accessory in a country where the pursuit of money at all costs and a weak faith in law enforcement have led many people to take matters into their own hands.
From truck drivers to art dealers, many have apparently fallen back on these glorified aluminum clubs as a weapon that remains legal and cheap, but not too lethal. According to LA Times, the industry took off “six years ago, when authorities banned the online sale of popular collapsible steel rods that fit into pocket-sized holsters. That gave sellers the idea to turn to baseball bats, whose availability had grown after the industry shifted from the U.S. to China about a decade ago.”
Thus the explanation of why thousands of bats are sold in China every year, but the sport itself struggles to make even a tiny dent in consciousness of this basketball-obsessed nation.
Read the full article in LA Times here.