How important is the role played by foreign providers of IVF services in China?
The market of IVF services in China is booming. IVF, or in vitro fertilization, is a form of Assisted Reproductive Technology where the egg of a woman is combined with the sperm outside her body. At Daxue Consulting, we observe that China’s IVF market accounted for 670 million USD in 2016 and is expected to reach 1,5 billion USD in 2022. High quality providers of IVF services come from abroad: the fast-growing demand from Chinese singles and couples is the key to foreign hospitals and clinics success.
Foreign healthcare companies are taking the lead in providing IVF services in China by adopting a “passive” business model, thanks to the cooperation with tour agents and referral offices. Therefore, the growing demand of IVF services in China seems to translate into a great opportunity for foreign companies to investigate new markets.
Foreign IVF providers are becoming more and more popular in China. Source: Baidu (百度).
Investing in IVF services in China means playing a leading role in assisting Chinese parents who demand for advanced IVF procedures. Some Chinese patients go for IVF because of conceiving problems or other health barriers. However, others choose IVF foreign providers as they allow to carry out more complex procedures, such as identifying the sex of fetus, gender selection, surrogacy, use of gestational carrier, gamete and embryo donation, cytoplasmic and nuclear transfer, all of which are prohibited by the Law of Maternal and Infant Healthcare (中华人民共和国母婴保健法, 1995) and the Ethical Principles of Human Assisted Reproductive Technologies (人类辅助生殖技术中的伦理).
Foreign providers of IVF services in China win the local offer in both quality of healthcare services and variety of supplied procedures. The Ministry of Health data (中华人民共和国国家卫生和计划生育委员会) show that Chinese IVF centers are often burdened, each IVF clinic in China serving around 3.8 million people. Foreign hospitals also constitute a better alternative to the expensive and illegal clinics operating on the Chinese black market via social media, according to the Qiuyi Information Center (求医网新闻中心).
Many foreign IVF providers are advertising their offer on WeChat (微信) and Weibo (微博). Source: New Hope Fertility Center (新希望辅助生殖中心)
The Chinese economic development puts Chinese parents to the test
When it comes to parenthood, the Chinese economic development is a big factor in determining the shift of Chinese families towards IVF. The introduction of the China’s two-child policy in October 2015, the wish of Chinese women to have the chance to focus on their career first and on pregnancy later in their lives, or to have a child even as single parents, are important reasons for the growth in the demand for IVF services in China.
Daxue Consulting found that the latest changes in lifestyle of Chinese urban families, due to the economic growth process and globalization, led to the delay of marriage and children (which, in general, makes it harder for couples to conceive naturally) and to a significant drop in sperm counts because of high stress levels and pollution. It is noteworthy that the average marriage age in China was 23 in the 1970s, 24 in the 1990s and increased up to 27 in the 21st century.
Women reaching for IVF treatment in China are often over 40. Source: Baidu (百度).
Foreign top premium healthcare companies
As the demand for top-notch medical care has been quickly increasing in China, great perspectives are coming up for foreign providers to grab. Those who have already established themselves as top premium IVF providers give a great model to follow.
- United Family Healthcare (和睦家医院) is an international integrated healthcare provider, sponsoring his personalized medical service in China through its 14 satellite clinics since 1997.
- The New Hope Fertility Center (新希望辅助生殖中心), a leading IVF services provider based in U.S., works in collaboration with a referral office in Beijing (北京) and offers vitrification freezing treatments rare to be found in China; its website is fully translated in Chinese.
- Virtus Health Ltd, a successful Australian company which offers IVF treatments, has experienced a growing Asian presence among its IVF patients and works with touring agents in China addressing them to its centers in Singapore. It has Chinese-speaking fertility doctors and nurses.
Thus, it is clear that the successful path towards the Chinese IVF market does not necessarily involve a direct presence in China, but rather it is due to a smart way to get in touch with Chinese patients from abroad.
Foreign providers of IVF services in China adopting “passive” business models
The “passive” business models of foreign hospitals and clinics have successfully attracted Chinese families. As opposed to an active presence on Chinese territory, passive business models are carried out by the means of tour agents and medical referral offices for the advertisement of healthcare companies services. In this case, the foreign hospital looks for referral agencies in China, asks for professional certifications and arranges seasonal meetings with potential patients. Global Fertility & Genetics of New York has established a partnership with a multi-specialty hospital in Hainan (海南) and has opened its China headquarter at at OASIS International Hospital of Beijing (北京明德医院).
To conclude, the Chinese IVF market growth is an expanding one with full potential. The offer of IVF services coming from abroad can make the parenthood dream of Chinese families come true. Also, it might open up new perspectives and include other kind of healthcare treatments the Chinese patients may need.
Daxue Consulting Research Team in Shanghai Office
Daxue Consulting can provide you support in entering the growing market of IVF services in China. We conduct all the market research and consulting services you may need, such as potential analysis, cost analysis, implementation feasibility etc. To know more about the Chinese IVF market, do not hesitate to contact our dedicated project managers by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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