The International Ice Hockey Federation confirmed that China will be granted a host exemption for the men’s hockey tournament at the upcoming Beijing Winter Games.
The status of the Chinese men’s team was up in the air in recent weeks due to questions about the team’s eligibility and competitiveness.
The team is made up mostly of players on the KHL’s Kunlun Red Star — including several North American-born players. Kunlun competed in two test games against KHL opponents in mid-November with IIHF officials closely monitoring to determine if the team would be competitive against NHL competition in the Olympics.
The 12-team men’s hockey tournament features three groups of four teams. China is in Group A with Canada, the United States and Germany — the reigning silver medalists.