Blog Exploring China’s State of Health

Exploring China’s State of Health
Health is in the spotlight at this year’s Credit Suisse China Investment Conference. This includes the state of China’s economic health, as 40 years on from the beginning of its economic reforms, it faces a range of challenges that threaten its growth and influence. At the same time, the CIC is taking an in-depth look at Chinese healthcare as the country seeks to position its pharmaceutical industry as a global leader while trying to build a system that can support the medical needs of the population. 

Creating value-adding connections

Now in its ninth year, the Credit Suisse China Investment Conference (CIC) provides a unique opportunity for China’s growing universe of public and private companies to connect with investors. The number of Chinese unicorns — privately-owned companies that are valued at more than US$1 billion — has reached 79, placing the country second behind the United States but catching up fast, according to CB Insight. This year’s CIC will bring together some 1,000 attendees, including 150 corporates and 50 speakers to explore a wealth of insights on the important themes driving Chinese markets and an assessment on the country’s state of health.

Any review of China’s state of health must be considered against the backdrop of a more challenging global marketplace. Most prominently, escalating trade tensions with the United States are leading to increased worries that economic growth could slow. Sharing their insights on what lies ahead for China will be Weimin Yang, former Deputy Head of the Office of Central Economic and Financial Leading Group, and John Litwack, the World Bank’s lead economist for China. Meanwhile, Professor Canrong Jin of Renmin University of China and Shengjun Liu, Dean of the China Financial Reform Research Institution, will explore the economic lessons of the past 40 years, and the possible next steps in China’s reform programme.

Taking the temperature of the healthcare market

One of the key topics on this year’s agenda is healthcare. With around one-fifth of the population projected to be aged 65 or over by 2035 — similar to the United Kingdom and the United States — China faces challenges in how to care for a rapidly-ageing population. Hengpeng Zhu, Deputy Director of China Academy of Social Science (CASS) Institute of Economics, will share his thoughts on the reforms needed for China to meet the nation’s healthcare needs.

Meanwhile, accelerated drug approvals and increasing demand for treatments is a proving a boon for China’s pharmaceutical market, which is set to experience a compound annual growth rate of 15% in 2019-2021, according to Credit Suisse’s forecast. At the CIC, Jimmy Zhang, Venture Partner at Lilly Asia Ventures, Mark Lee, Senior Vice President of Corporate Finance at Hutchison Chi-Med and Zhengrong Liu, Founder & CEO at Allinmd are just some of the experts discussing the outlook and opportunities for investors across biopharma, health technology and beyond.

The new frontiers of technology

Chinese companies are at the forefront of technology innovations that are being watched keenly by the rest of the world. Exploring the potential of this technology and China’s satellite navigation sector will be Simon Sun, Managing Director at chip developer Allystar.

But perhaps the most high-profile area where China has stolen a march is artificial intelligence (AI). China has stated that it wants to become a global leader in AI by 2030 and has made a lot of progress. It already dominates global funding of the sector with nearly half of total equity funding for AI start-ups coming from China, according to CB Insight. And of the aforementioned Chinese unicorns, 14 are companies focusing on AI, according to a report by China Money Network. 

China ranked #2 globally with 79 Unicorns

China dominates global AI funding

US vs. China total equity funding to startups in 2017
Source: In AI, China > US, CB Insights

Creating world-beating AI solutions is certainly a topic that Bing Xu, Co-founder of SenseTime, knows all about.

AI is also revolutionising the consumer sector in everything from auto finance to retail spending which raises the question of how FinTech and RegTech will evolve in this fast-changing space? A question that speakers at the CIC will look to answer.

One notable example of how technology is changing rapidly is the use of influencers, also known as key opinion leaders (KOLs) to help brands stand out in a more fragmented, digital marketplace. But how can companies find the right KOLs for their product? Kim Leitzes, Founder and CEO of influencer marketing platform PARKLU, will talk about the power of KOL marketing and how her company uses data-driven technology to put brands in contact with the most relevant social media influencers.

In poll position

With reducing pollution levels an important target for improving the nation’s health, it’s little wonder that with China's automobiles emitting around 43.6 million tonnes of pollutants in 2017, the country has emerged as a global leader in electric vehicles (EVs). Last year 777,000 EVs were sold in China, up 53% compared to 2016, according to China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM), making it by far the largest EV market in the world. Speakers discussing the outlook for the industry at the CIC include Daniel Kirchert, President & Co-Founder at BYTON, Bin Li, Chairman and Founder of NIO, and Ke Mo, Founder, CEO and Chief Analyst at RealLi Research.

New energy vehicles sales in thousand units, including hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and battery electric vehicles

Source: Frost & Sullivan's