Is Chinese market a good market for healthcare investments?

Marta Cristofanini

After a long period of closure towards Western customs and traditions, the Chinese market is well-disposed towards healthcare investments for tech-products coming from abroad

Chinese market is looking for health investments from Western society

A boom of interest for foreign healthcare products

China counts today 131 million of people over 65. The elderly population will reach 409 million by 2035, which would represent the 28,5% of the entire citizenry. This is one of the results of the “one child policy” over last decades. Nevertheless, the government is actively looking after elderly’s healthcare, also by encouraging them to follow Western medicine practices. This measure doesn’t pertain only to pharmaceutical companies though. The Chinese Market is really receptive to healthcare related investments.

Chinese consumers are demanding more personalized and higher quality healthcare services. Moreover, the medical equipment’s providers are closely tied with domestic demand; this results in a double channel of possible insertion in the receptive Chinese health and wellness market.

Indeed, accordingly to a 2014 report released by the Boston Consulting Group (BCG), it was expected to increase by $70bn by 2020. And because of a general disillusionment spreading among Chinese consumers for internal products, foreign companies appear to be more privileged. Anyway, keep in mind that to get attention and trust has not to be taken for granted.

The Chinese market is changing and wants to invest in healthcare

Why is happening that?

Life expectancy has increased, as well as the probability of contracting a chronic disease (e.g. diabetes) during old age. This new condition meets unfortunately a shortage of resources, where available equipment is not efficient to optimize time management for treatment priorities. This certainly has contributed to activating a change of mentality where health and prevention have become central: to acquire healthy food and healthy products has an extreme value for Chinese citizens.

The attention for improving their lifestyle in many ways refers to Western influence because their medical doctors reinforce consequently this inclination. As a result, Chinese people – and therefore Chinese market – is hungry for healthcare investments, and they are willing to pay for it.

That wouldn’t be possible without a general improvement of life’s quality, which has empowered the rising middle-class. A better economical condition implies more resources for higher quality products to be proud of and authentic enthusiasm for innovative, personalized solutions.

Chinese market is looking for health investments from Western society because of a big social change

The senior care sector is opening to healthcare investments from abroad too

The Chinese government underlines that there is a lack of 13 million basic caregivers, due to the failure of their previous training program. Meanwhile, middle-class families are accepting the idea of relying on nursing homes: as said before, this social group is more sensitive to health awareness and it is more ready to pay for professional services and improvements.

In particular, this willingness is related to seniors’ children; they are most of the time active professionals with their own life to manage; they look for more specialized care services, at home – where their beloved ones mostly live – or at hospitalization level: this fact suggests that the pro capita expenditure on elder care is going to rise quickly in the next few years.

In conclusion, all these changes within the medical sector are offering good opportunities for foreing companies to start productive collaborations with independent and assisted living facilities in need – which are going to reinforce their presence on the territory – and with families too.

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