I've always liked the wildcard round, as it provides a good indication of what the standard of amateurs is like in this part of the world. We've had very strong years, with the likes of Tian Pengfei, Yu Delu and Xiao Guodong making their mark for example. And we've also had weaker years, like this one, when none of the wildcards made it through. It's not much of a sample, but at least it shows whether more doors should be opened for these players or not.
I don't think it's really meant to boost the local interest in the event. If it is, it's not very successful. I at least expected Tian's match last year to get a decent crowd, but there was virtually no one there. What it does do however, is provide some decent experience at the highest level for the local amateurs. That's really the only thing they can gain, since there is no ranking points or prize money on offer for them. It's a rare chance to play the top players, a chance that European amateurs now have, with the PTC series. The Chinese amateurs can only really compete among themselves, so I don't really begrudge them their crack at these events. And it's probably even tougher for other Asians. This one experience can make a difference in how their career develops.