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Pet care products go smart in China

(People's Daily Online)    17:40, May 28, 2019

An automatic cat toilet. (File photo)

During the Chinese Labor Day Holiday event, Su, a resident in Beijing, went on a trip and left two pet cats at home. “With the real-time monitors and automatic feeding machines and water fountains, I’m not concerned about cats being left alone for a few days.”

In recent years, the number of pet owners in China has increased rapidly. By 2018, pet owners in Chinese cities had amounted to 73.6 million and the consumption in the pet market had reached 170.8 billion yuan, according to 2018 Chinese Pet Industry White Paper.

Besides pet food and medicine, a new demand for household pet goods has risen following the emergence of intelligent household industries. Nowadays, pet owners can get smart home products for their pets via e-commerce platforms such as Taobao.

The automatic pet feeder allows the owner to feed his pet on his cellphone from afar and the automatic water fountain provides clean water for the animal. With the pet camera, the owner can see his pet even when he is not home.

The growth of these household companions is related to the expanding number of singles and aged people in China, who intend to raise a pet to keep them company.

With the role of pets changing, the needs of owners is also changing. More and more young people don’t just want to be around the pets, but hope to raise them well. Intelligent pet products can satisfy such demands because they are both functional and good-looking.

Statistics released by Tmall global shows the number of pet products consumers had increased 3 times and the total amount rose by more than 10 times from 2016 to 2018.

Despite the good momentum, smart pet products are questioned by many people. Some owners revealed that smart pet products are not ready for introduction into the market. For example, according to previous reports, there was an instance where a smart cat bed malfunctioned and the cat sleeping in it was asphyxiated.

On the other hand there are successful products. Baidu developed an intelligent stray cat cattery at the beginning of this year. Besides being able to conduct temperature control and run a camera, the product is equipped with cat face recognition technology so as to ensure the healthy reproduction of stray cats.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Hongyu, Bianji)

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