China will become the snooker superpower within the next decade, according to the sport's supremo Barry Hearn.
World number five Shaun Murphy says Ding is the most highly recognised sports person in China "by a mile".
"He's bigger than Ronnie is back in the UK, than Davis was, than Stephen Hendry was, than Alex Higgins was; he's bigger than them all," Murphy said.
"The fans in China are fanatical about him. They camp out at hotel lobbies for him, he and his wife have to go out for meals in secret. He is an A-list celebrity in China."
China's supposed takeover of a sport so long dominated by the UK and Ireland has been predicted for years, but it is only recently that it is truly beginning to back up Ding's breakthrough.
I wonder if they're taking on darts and drinking warm beer, too?