There are over 1.357 billion people in China, but Marco Fu is concerned the world's most populous nation does not have enough people to produce a genuine superstar of the green baize.
Fu turned professional in 1998, six years after the sport's famous class of 1992 - Ronnie O'Sullivan, John Higgins and Mark Williams - graduated with honours in potting before progressing to 11 world titles between them.
On the cusp of his own 40th birthday, Scottish Open winner Fu is concerned there is nobody around to become the sport's flag-bearer with people's champion O'Sullivan, Higgins and Williams in their early 40s, and on the back nine of their respective careers.
Ding is a national sporting icon in China while Bristol's world number two Judd Trump has long been tipped as the natural successor to O'Sullivan, but the ingredients needed to transcend the sport is missing in the modern era of social media and low attention spans.
Fu - locked in a fierce battle with Neil Robertson to reach the last eight here - compares snooker to tennis, a sport that seems to be searching for a genuine sprinkling of gold dust beyond the big four of Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray.
"I think snooker is a little bit like tennis," Fu told Eurosport. "We used to watch Pete Sampras in the 1990s then the big four, but who is the next superstar in tennis?
"I don't see anybody like that in tennis. It is a little bit like that in snooker. Judd Trump is probably the last potential superstar from England.
"The Chinese players are pretty good, but they are still quite a bit behind Ding Junhui.
I just don't see them being a huge superstar that can be a flag-bearer for snooker. I just don't see it. It is a huge concern for me.
"You had Steve Davis and Alex Higgins in the 80s, Stephen Hendry in the 90s and the class of '92 with Ronnie O'Sullivan, John Higgins and Mark Williams.
"Then you had Paul Hunter and Matthews Stevens in the noughties before the emergence of Judd and Ding. I'm not sure if the next superstar is coming from China.
Read the full article on eurosport.co.uk: Fu: Snooker needs another superstar like O'Sullivan, but China hasn't got one