Latest News:  
Beijing   Light rain    9 / 4 ℃  City Forecast


Foreign investors eye senior housing and care market

By Todd Balazovic (China Daily)

09:23, December 01, 2012

For years foreign investors have tried to jumpstart China's senior housing and care market. So far, none have succeeded.

Social stigma, difficult investment boundaries and an untested market have been the pitfalls for scores of foreign players looking to tap into the business of taking care of seniors.

But as providing quality care for a burgeoning senior population becomes increasingly problematic, foreign investors are jostling for pole position to pioneer China's senior care industry.

With the China National Committee on Aging estimating an elderly population of 221 million by 2015, the potential for private senior healthcare businesses is obviously great.

Leading the latest foreign foray is Cascade Healthcare Services, a joint venture backed by US-based Emeritus and Columbia Pacific Advisors, which opened its first senior care center in Shanghai in October.

"Our conclusion is this is definitely going to be a huge market in China," said Serena Xie, managing director of Cascade Healthcare.

Investing $5 million in remodeling an old hotel in Shanghai's Xuhui district, their 100-bed facility will cater to China's newly minted middle-class, offering full-care residency for 12,000 yuan ($1,926) to 18,900 yuan a month.

Backed by Dan Baty, co-founder of Emeritus and a veteran of the US senior housing market, Cascade's new center is being billed as a prototype in the untested senior healthcare market in a city where residents over 60 account for almost 25 percent of the population.

For Cascade, it is the start of an ambitious plan to open dozens of centers across the country, with plans for another center in Shanghai next year, as well as a $6.75 million joint-venture with Sino-Ocean Land in Beijing.

Cascade is racing to become the first big foreign company to succeed in the sector. But while Cascade may be the first foreign-funded assisted-living center in Shanghai, it is not the first foreign company in China with hopes of establishing a foothold in senior care market.

"There were a small number of attempts to open the Chinese senior care market in the late 1990s, all of which were unsuccessful," said Ben Shobert, managing director of Rubicon Strategy Group, a Seattle-based consulting agency focusing on emerging markets. "This is commonly believed to have been because the market was not yet ready."

As the question of how to ensure proper care for seniors becomes increasingly urgent, it seems the market is now ready for private entrants.

【1】 【2】 【3】 【4】

We recommend:

China's first rail to 'sea of death' starts operation

Sales of Samsung's Galaxy Note 2 tops 5mmark

Beijing-Guangzhou high-speed rail to open

China Telecom starts iPhone 5 pre-orders

Shanghai Center Tower to rise over 400m

Self-owned brands account for 11% of exports

HK's MTR buys first China-made locomotives

Staff members of bus company sort notes, coins

Construction of 6th Yellow River bridge underway


Leave your comment0 comments

  1. Name


Selections for you

  1. Chinese naval escort taskforces

  2. China's special forces in training

  3. Most creative 'Santa Claus' (I)

  4. Nutritious lunch provided in Taipei

  5. On 1st high-speed line through high-latitude regions

  6. China's savings rate world's highest

  7. Is marriage the grave of love?

  8. Soon, You Can Eat KFC on Japan Airlines

Most Popular


  1. Much room for China-ASEAN economic co-op
  2. Spend it again, Sam
  3. The paradox of China's stock market
  4. Reforms to give more weight to capital
  5. Obama's big test: averting "fiscal cliff"
  6. Commentary: Future money uncertainties
  7. Social progress in tolerance to ‘Nail Household’
  8. Preventing abuse of power in physical exam
  9. Will China run out of water by 2030?
  10. What’s behind pupils' bread and milk lunch?

What’s happening in China

Nutritious lunch provided in Taipei's elementary school

  1. Teachers deserve a much better deal
  2. High price of being a ‘money boy’
  3. Principal fired over sex abuse allegations
  4. Train rolls into mysterious "no man's land"
  5. Seven imprisoned in kidney trading case