The Chinese Minister of Civil Affairs Li Jiheng said that China’s total fertility rate has fallen below the warning line and the population development has entered a critical turning point, with Chinese demographers warning that China’s population will start to decline in the next few years, with little chance of reversing the trend.

China’s fertility rate falls drastically

The fertility rate of a country is the average number of children that women from that country will have throughout their reproductive years. In 1930, China’s fertility rate was 5.5 children per woman. In 2020, it fell to just 1.7.


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Now China’s birth rate has fallen to its lowest since the formation of the People’s Republic of China 70 years ago, despite the easing of the much-criticized one-child policy that has been effective for over 36 years. In China, it remains a clear preference for a small family unit, with 35% of women preferring one child, 57% preferring two children, and only 5.8% preferring more than two.

The birth rate was 10.48 per 1,000 people in 2019, the lowest since 1949, the National Bureau of Statistics said. The number of babies born in 2019 was down 580,000 compared with the previous year and it amounted to 14.65 million.



Is China going through a sperm crisis?

In China, the rate of infertility has been estimated to be as great as 15%-20% (40-50 million) in women and 10%-12% (45 million) in men within reproductive age (aged 15-45 years).

New statistics confirm a growing belief that Chinese men (as it happens in the entire developed world) are producing less sperm in their semen, a trend that raises questions about their fertility in a country that is trying to boost its birth rate.

At Shanghai-based Fudan University’s sperm bank, just 10 percent of semen collected from over 100 donors aged under 35 met the bank’s quality standards.

Only 25 percent of the semen taken from donors in 2019 was acceptable, down from more than 40 percent in 2013.

Statistics show that about 12 to 15 percent of the couples of childbearing age in China have trouble conceiving, with sperm issues being a major reason.



Which factors can cause infertility?

People today live at a faster pace. Nowadays the quality of the sperm can be affected by:

  • Increasing work;
  • Stress;
  • unhealthy lifestyle;
  • Increased environmental pollution;
  • Pollution of water, air, and food

That is why this is the best moment for international brands to sell sperm quality improvement supplements.



How to enter the Chinese supplements market?

The enormous Chinese pharmacy market, almost the second biggest in the world, offers a lot of opportunities for businesses working in health departments and wishing to launch their products in China.

The first thing to do is to have a strong presence online.

China is the most digitalized country in the world. China’s internet penetration rate has reached 64.5 percent in 2020.

The net has become the key tool for growth in this environment. 80% of the 750 million netizens have searched for information related to health care online.

There is tough competition so the implementation of efficient and innovative strategies is essential.



Build your website for Baidu and increase your e-reputation

Baidu website of Arkopharma laboratoires, one of our clients

/Baidu, for those of you who do not know, is the most used search engine in China. It covers 70% of queries.

It is structured like an ecosystem, made of Baidu Search, Baidu Promotion, Baidu Video, Baidu Maps, and Baidupedia (like our Wikipedia). Obviously, being an ecosystem, Baidu rewards the users that use all its tools.

To be effective, a website must:

  • be host in China or Hong Kong, so that the web pages will be loaded quickly;
  • be translated in Chinese, because not many Chinese understand English;
  • Have localized content. Localization is the only way to succeed in China;
  • Have an eccentric layout that attracts the tastes of Chinese people. They like strong colors like red and gold;
  • Have plenty of information about the company and about its products. Chinese people appreciate more those companies that have a story and that focus on storytelling.
  • Have a good Seo & Sem strategy to rank in a good position. Usually, users only click the first five results of a web search.

A brand must identify the more effective keywords that Chinese people use when they look for health supplements and do link building. This expression identifies the strategic activity aimed at increasing the number of inbound links to a website, which in this way gains greater authority in the eyes of Baidu.




Use Chinese forums to take advantage of the community’s power

Chinese users asking questions about infertility supplements on Zhihu

Before buying any products, Chinese people research extensively online. They join forums, groups and they read many reviews. The power of community in China is strong and you have to be smart and follow the trend.

Zhihu is the biggest Chinese platform of questions and answers, similar to Quora.

80% of users are well educated (has a degree or more), 30% are well paid (they earn 10.000 RMB per month) and 40% of users live in first or second-level cities. Users are mainly men. 78.2% of users have more than 25 years.

Being present on Zhihu will allow you to answer questions about your products but also to educate your target audience about your brands/products in an undercover way.

Zhihu is an excellent tool to increase your conversion rate and to generate brand awareness. It can be a powerful tool to establish long-term trust and thought leadership, but the results do not come in a short period.



Sell your products on the Chinese e-commerce platforms

China has become one of the biggest retail e-commerce markets in the world, which as a result, has created interest from foreign brands seeking new opportunities to enter the Chinese market with minimum effort.

Chinese consumers spent $2.090 trillion (RMB14.440 trillion) on retail e-commerce in 2020.

That is why we suggest you enter the Chinese market through e-commerce platforms.

In particular, Tmall has created an online pharmacy platform.



Tmall: Alibaba B2C e-commerce

Tmall is the leading B2C e-commerce site in China. It is a generalist platform that focuses on the sale of branded products. You can find products of all kinds, from beauty to mechanics.

The brands are presented on Tmall in the form of graphically customizable flagship stores.

Tmall offers many advantages to brands:

  • it has a simplified payment process, where buyers don’t necessarily have to use a credit card. In fact, it is possible to finalize your purchase through the Alipay electronic payment system.
  • Only original and verified brands are accepted.
  • Sellers have an excellent analytical tool and periodic reports on sales trends.
  • it often launches real shopping festivals to attract new consumers and stimulate sales.



Alibaba Health: the online pharmacy of Tmall

Alibaba Health was born as an investment portfolio of Tmall and it grew into a subsidiary over the years. It relies mostly on the sales of medicines and other healthcare products like vitamin supplements and supplements in general.

Alibaba Health has a revenue of 7 billion yuan or $1.07 billion. The platform enjoys a large user base. In 2020, 250 million users made purchases through the online pharmacy of Tmall.

Alibaba Health had 65 million annual active users in 2019.  It also provides online health consultation services, which saw a surge in demand during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Do you want to launch your supplements in China? Contact Gma

gma agency

Gentlemen Marketing Agency is a digital marketing agency that is expert in helping foreign companies to establish or strengthen their position in China. We can help your brand increase sales in China, thanks to our services. They include:

  • Advertising
  • Baidu SEO&SEM
  • Social Media
  • PR
  • KOL & Influencers
  • E-commerce and cross-border e-commerce
  • Distribution


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