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China's Two Healthcare Markets: $64 Billion in Rural Spending and Rapid Urbanization
[November 27, 2012]

China's Two Healthcare Markets: $64 Billion in Rural Spending and Rapid Urbanization

BOSTON --(Business Wire)--

The world's most populous country and the one with the largest aging population - 300 million aged 65 or over by 2030 - represents one of the most exciting markets for healthcare companies. However, two very different markets are emerging - a Western-style market in cities and a Third-World-style market in its villages - presenting a unique testing ground and opportunity for developing a range of healthcare solutions, says Lux Research.

"China is bifurcated into two distinct healthcare and biopharmaceutical markets. The urban market is rapidly growing due to young people migrating to cities, and developing western-style illnesses such as obesity and diabetes. On the other hand, a large rural population primarily suffers from Third-World diseases with less access to health resources," said Zhihao Yu, Lux Research Analyst and the lead author of the report titled, "China: One Country, wo Health Care Markets."

Lux Research analysts built a model to assess the market based on the Chinese government's plans. Among their findings:

  • Rural hospital income set for leap. Rural healthcare spending has historically lagged investment in urban healthcare, but a new state effort to redress the imbalance will see rural healthcare doubling to 400 billion RMB ($64 billion) by 2015; the rural healthcare market is predicted to grow nearly twice as fast as the urban market - 18% vs. 10%.
  • Villages need low-cost solutions. Rural populations favor the application of medical devices - for instance, joint replacement versus long-time chronic pain management - due to limited incomes. China's proposed insurance program for the rural populations, the vast majority of which has no coverage, offers new opportunities to healthcare companies.
  • Cities need westernized models. Urban populations with a growingly western lifestyle suffer from diseases and syndromes such as childhood obesity and diabetes, exceeding rates in the U.S. In addition, pollution is increasing the prevalence of respiratory disease, as the market cries out for western-style models.
  • Dual development strategy. Solution providers with vision and healthy balance sheets have the opportunity to pursue a dual product/service development strategy that addresses both rural and urban healthcare needs. China represents a unique crucible where both incremental and disruptive innovations can be successfully absorbed by its two markets.

The report, titled "China: One Country, Two Health Care Markets," is part of the Lux Research China BioPharma Intelligence service.

About Lux Research

Lux Research provides strategic advice and on-going intelligence for emerging technologies. Leaders in business, finance and government rely on us to help them make informed strategic decisions. Through our unique research approach focused on primary research and our extensive global network, we deliver insight, connections and competitive advantage to our clients. Visit for more information.

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