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February 26, 2024
PI Global Investments

China Focuses on Developing Silver Economy, Multiple Companies Already Strategizing

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Currently, societies worldwide are facing the issue of aging populations. With the increase in average life expectancy and a decline in birth rates, the growth in the elderly population is an irreversible trend. Statistical data indicates that the global elderly population currently accounts for 22% of the world’s total population, and projections suggest this could exceed 33% by 2050.

As one of the most populous countries in the world, China faces a particularly severe aging population issue. According to a McKinsey report: “China is expected to transition rapidly from an ‘aging’ to an ‘aged’ society by 2027, a shift that will take just 25 years. In comparison, France underwent this transition over 115 years, the United States over 69 years, and the United Kingdom over 45 years.”

The increasing elderly population has brought a series of challenges to China’s economic development. To address these challenges, the Chinese government has introduced several policies, such as the “14th Five-Year Plan for the Development of National Aging Programs and the Elderly Care Service System” and the “14th Five-Year Plan for Actively Responding to Population Aging and the Implementation Plan for Childcare Construction.” These policies aim to improve the elderly health system from multiple aspects, focus on developing the silver economy, ensure the health and well-being of the elderly, and maintain sustainable social development.

Some scholars believe that population aging will give rise to several areas with tremendous potential for development. Most notably, on the consumer side, various consumption scenarios have emerged centered around the daily needs of the elderly, such as clothing, food, housing, transportation, and rehabilitation care. There’s a rapid growth in diverse service demands like fitness and leisure for the elderly, education and training, cultural tourism, and financial support. These mainly fall into categories such as physiological needs, health needs, and emotional needs.

Physiological needs refer to the most basic requirements for human survival. The physiological needs of the silver-haired population have spurred the development of industries such as age-friendly food and beverages, clothing, shoes, hats, age-friendly real estate, and home appliances. In China, companies like Silver Carefree and Vanke have already strategized for the age-friendly market. Most elderly individuals are inclined towards small-scale renovations or purchasing age-friendly furniture, home appliances, and other domestic products to improve their quality of life.

The health needs of the silver-haired population have boosted the development of caregiving services, medical care, physiotherapy equipment, and nutritional supplements. In this field, brands like SECOM, Lexin, Maimai, and Yangshengtang have already established a leading advantage. According to data from Taobao and Tmall, fifty percent of the surveyed elderly suffer from issues like high blood pressure and high uric acid, among other ‘four highs’ health concerns. Additionally, problems like osteoporosis, dental degeneration, and poor sleep also cause health anxieties for both children and the elderly. Consumers are looking forward to more home health management products that can better assist the elderly in conducting home health self-checks, monitoring, and care.

Emotional needs are also a vital part of the silver economy, driving the development of senior education and training, travel, and elderly entertainment. According to data from Taobao and Tmall, over seventy percent of middle-aged and elderly respondents have experienced anxiety due to aging,which can easily lead to self-doubt, frustration, and health anxiety. More than sixty percent of elderly individuals believe that cultivating interests and hobbies, social companionship, and leisure wellness activities are effective ways to overcome emotional challenges. In addressing the emotional needs of the aging population, brands like QianChi, Hong Song, and Mei Pian are wholeheartedly improving products designed for the elderly. QianChi, a brand under QuantaSing Group Limited (NASDAQ: QSG), is An interest-based learning platform for silver learners. The platform aims to provide a wide range of courses and activities to meet the various interests and skill levels of middle-aged and elderly people.

Recently, the company announced its Unaudited Financial Results for the First Quarter of Fiscal Year 2024. The financial report shows that QuantaSing’s Revenues for the first quarter of FY 2024 were RMB869.1 million (US$119.1 million), with an increase of 31.8% from the first quarter of the fiscal year ended June 30, 2023. The adjusted net income for the first quarter of fiscal year 2024 was RMB 94.0 million, setting a new record for both quarterly revenue and adjusted net income. Additionally, by the end of the quarter, the total registered users across all QuantaSing brands surpassed the 100 million mark. 

Recently, the principal official of the Social Development Department of China’s National Development and Reform Commission stated: “Looking to the future, China will focus on developing the silver economy, enhancing the welfare of the elderly, and cultivating potential industries. This will add new impetus to high-quality economic development and the process of Chinese-style modernization, and also bring new development opportunities to the world.”

Journalists believe that in the future, with the expansion of consumption scenarios, the increase in services and product supply, and the improvement of China’s elderly care policies, the Chinese silver economy has a vast potential. It could become a significant force driving China’s economic growth.

About the Author:

Jemima Tucker stands out as a outstanding figure in the financial technology landscape. Boasting over a decade of experience in the FinTech sector, her profound grasp of the interplay between finance, technology, and innovation equips her to offer a distinctive viewpoint on the latest trends, emerging startups, and cutting-edge technological developments transforming the financial industry.

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