Swedish Giant Enters Chinese Home Care Market

AP images

Swedish paper conglomerate SCA recently announced an investment in the Chinese elderly care market. SCA produces a wide array of products including a large range of incontinence products under the brand Tena, SCA is in part motivated by the fast growth that the incontinence product market is expected to have in China: estimated at 20% annually compared to the overall market growth rate of 4%. But the incontinence market is not the only market experiencing rapid growth in China, the General Secretary of the Standing Committee of the NPC Li Jianguo recently announced that another 3.4 million beds in eldercare facilities will need to be added in the next five years.

SCA is partnering with Singaporean company ECON Healthcare Group to start the care company Jiahu, and aim to have 1000 nurses in Shanghai within a couple of years and then expand to the rest of Asia. Today ECON operates eight nursing homes and a hospital in Singapore as well as a maternity hospital ward in Malaysia.

However, the Swedish and Singaporean companies are not the first foreign companies to enter the promising Chinese market. Last year American Cascade Healthcare announced plans to build a eldercare facility in Shanghai. Other international companies have entered joint ventures with Chinese healthcare providers in an attempt to bypass some of the difficulties that come with entering a country where cultural traditions suggest that care for elders stays within the family.

Sources:

http://di.se/ “Svenska Skogsjätten startar hemtjänst i Kina”

http://www.econhealthcare.com/

http://www.atimes.com/atimes/China_Business/MI14Cb01.html

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