The China’s market for In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) for Health Managers

Professional highlights of the IVF market in China 2024. A significant demographic challenge that China’s leaders face: the country’s plummeting fertility rate. Here’s a summary of the issue:

Cost-Effective Agency

KPI and Results focused. We are the most visible Marketing Agency for China. Not because of huge spending but because of our SMART Strategies. Let us help you with: E-Commerce, Search Engine Optimization, Advertising, Weibo, WeChat, WeChat Store & PR.

China’s Fertility Crisis

  • Fertility Rate: The Total Fertility Rate (TFR) in China has fallen to 1.1 children per woman, which is well below the replacement level of 2.1 needed to maintain a stable population.
  • Population Decline: As a consequence of this low fertility rate, China’s population declined for the second consecutive year in 2023.
  • Historical Context: This decline is not solely a result of the one-child policy (enforced from 1980 to 2016), which restricted urban families mostly to one child and rural families to two. The decrease in fertility began in the 1970s due to factors like urbanization, education improvements for women, and a shift away from Mao-era pro-natalist policies.
  • Regional Comparison: The situation in China mirrors broader regional trends in East Asia, where countries like Japan and South Korea have also seen dramatic drops in their fertility rates, with South Korea’s TFR catastrophically below 0.8.

Seven Trends About Fertility Problems in China:

  1. Aging Population: The low fertility rate has accelerated the aging of China’s population, creating potential economic and social challenges, such as a shrinking workforce and increased healthcare costs.
  2. Urbanization Impact: Increased urbanization has been linked to lower fertility rates, as living costs in cities are higher and there is more access to education and employment opportunities for women.
  3. Female Educational Attainment: Higher levels of education among women often correlate with delayed childbearing and reduced number of children, significantly influencing the fertility rate.
  4. Economic Factors: Economic uncertainty and the rising cost of living, including the high cost of child-rearing, deter young couples from having more children.
  5. Policy Changes: Despite the end of the one-child policy and the introduction of incentives for larger families, these measures have so far not significantly reversed the declining fertility trend.
  6. Cultural Shifts: There is a cultural shift towards smaller family norms, and young adults are prioritizing career and personal freedom over starting families.
  7. Health and Lifestyle: Modern health and lifestyle changes have also contributed to lower fertility rates, including factors like increased stress levels and higher rates of conditions that may affect fertility.

These trends underline a complex crisis that not only affects China but is evident across many developed East Asian economies. The situation calls for comprehensive policy planning and innovative solutions to mitigate the long-term impacts of an aging and declining population.

Nowadays IVF services are booming in China. According to some industry estimates sites by NIKKEI ASIAN REVIEW, Chinese couples spend around $8 billion each year on IVF. Of that, in accordance with figures cited in China’s state-linked media, over $1 billion is spent outside of China. In addition to this, the future of the IVF industry seems to be promising. The well-known website Bloomberg stated that the reproductive health market in China has a potential value of 15$ billion!

Why is the demand for In Vitro Fertilization growing?

China has finally abolished its one-child policy. However, the paradox has appeared among Chinese women, who are struggling to get pregnant these days. Why does it happen? These fertility problems are caused by different factors: higher stress levels accompanying economic development; the high level of pollution in the country; late marriage; late childbirth; smoking and alcohol use.

In Vitro Fertilization industry in China: a great opportunity for foreign companies

Only 460 mainland hospitals were licensed for IVF in April 2019.

Moreover, couples need to spend approximately 20,000 -30,000 RMB per IVF cycle, while for ICSI it is 25,000 to 35,000 RMB per cycle. And, since fertility service treatment is not covered by public or private insurance, assisted reproductive technology remains out of reach for many infertile couples in China.

Therefore, tapping into this increasing demand of IVF services in China has become a significant opportunity for foreign companies to leverage this market.

Why are the Chinese looking for In Vitro Fertilization services abroad?

“Excess of demand for IVF treatment, limited clinics available and months in waiting for consultation appointments” are among the main factors driving Chinese women to seek programs abroad. Chinese people prefer going abroad to look for high quality IVF treatments and because it is usually cheaper to do the treatments abroad.

Moreover, many Chinese couples can choose the gender of the future baby abroad, which is one of the crucial points.

The IVF market is highly competitive in China

Currently, the highest quality providers of IVF services come from abroad but the fast-growing demand from Chinese singles and couples is the key to foreign hospitals and clinics’ success on the Mainland. Foreign Clinics providing IVF services in China are at a competitive advantage in both high-quality healthcare services and diversity of supplied procedures.

IVF Reflects China’s Strategic Public Health Initiative

The Chinese government’s strategic decision to significantly expand IVF (In Vitro Fertilization) facilities across the country by 2025 demonstrates a proactive response to the rising demand for fertility treatments. Currently, China conducts over half a million IVF cycles each year, which result in approximately 300,000 births. This initiative not only underscores China’s commitment to addressing its demographic challenges but also represents a significant growth opportunity within the reproductive health services market. The enhancement of IVF facilities is expected to greatly support families wishing to increase their size, signaling a promising development for market stakeholders.

What is Influencing the IVF Industry in China?

  1. Growing Demand for Donor Egg Treatments: Amidst broader IVF services, there’s a rising preference for donor egg treatments, reflecting diverse fertility needs and the challenges of later-in-life pregnancies.
  2. Adoption of Disposable IVF Devices: The IVF sector is witnessing a shift towards disposable devices, driven by their convenience and the imperative to meet stringent standards for infection control, enhancing both safety and efficiency in fertility clinics.
  3. Dominance of ICSI Procedures: Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI), a specialized form of IVF, is gaining prominence. This technique is particularly effective in treating male infertility, offering hope to many families and potentially increasing the procedure’s adoption rate.
  4. Fertility Clinics as Key Market Players: Fertility clinics are increasingly becoming the primary care providers for IVF treatments, thanks to their specialized care capabilities and the availability of advanced treatments, aligning with patient expectations for high-quality reproductive healthcare.

IVF Business Implications and Opportunities

For businesses operating within the IVF sector, these developments offer multiple avenues for growth. Marketing strategies should focus on educating potential users about the safety, effectiveness, and accessibility of IVF treatments. Additionally, partnerships with healthcare providers and alignment with government health initiatives could enhance service delivery and market penetration. Finally, leveraging digital platforms to raise awareness and facilitate discussions around fertility challenges can help destigmatize IVF treatments and broaden their acceptance among the Chinese population.

IVF tourism in China: Women traveling abroad for a baby

Demand for IVF in China has surged since the one-child policy was scrapped, but unmarried women are denied access. SBS News follows one hopeful mother on her international journey to start a family.

How can your IVF clinic attract Chinese customers?

The crucial point is to get the attention of potential clients. In China, your company means nothing if you don’t have instruments such as E-Reputation, a quality Chinese website, and a strong online presence in Chinese social media. Chinese are tending to do lots of research before they choose any services especially when it comes to Healthcare.

Read below to know how to succeed in the IVF market.

IVF Clinics need to work on e-reputation

You need to start building your e-Reputation in China, simply due to the reason that English content, positive reviews in western media platforms are not be visible on the Chinese net.

Mandarin Chinese Characters are use in the vast majority of internet research (over 97,5%). Also, Chinese web is a unique ecosystem that requires a fresh and creative approach.

You should forget big western players such as Facebook, Google, and Twitter, cause instead of it all China has WeChat, Baidu, Weibo, and many others. To approach this whole set of new platforms, the Chinese specific way in terms of Mandarin communications, content, and engagement should be taken into consideration.

Choosing the right strategy to Promote an IVF Clinic in China

To build your E-reputation in China, you should be strategic with your content. Introduce your services has high-quality services, as the reference of the market. Remember that you are promoting a costly service abroad, thus, it must be worth the price. Medical tourism is doing great with Chinese citizens, but only the clinics can prove they are the best to make money.

Earn the trust of Chinese Women Looking for IVF

If foreign clinics have a better reputation than most Chinese, this won’t be enough to appeals to medical tourists. Localize your content but keep your identity to have a unique selling point.

Forget about “passive” business model

Chinese healthcare market is mostly lead by Foreign healthcare companies especially in terms of IVF services. Most of them were using a “passive” business model that consists in creating partnership with tour agents.

In other words, foreign healthcare companies are taking the lead in providing IVF services in China by adopting a “passive” business model, which is driven by partnerships with tour agents and referral offices.

However, nowadays the rules have been changed since IVF treatments services market is a “tidbit” for Foreign clinics. Therefore, you will need to act smart and fast to enter the Chinese market without wasting your time.

Use Baidu to promote your IVF Clinic in China

One of the effective strategies to reach the Chinese market is advertising through search engines. Among these search engines, we have Baidu, which is by far the most powerful leader in the Chinese search engine market, with nearly 80% market share.

There are several other search engines equally powerful, but none is comparable to Baidu in terms of market shares.

Just like Google, Baidu offers a wide variety of advertising options for businesses. However, advertising on it requires that companies drown in a ton of administrative paperwork, which is incredibly difficult for non-Chinese companies. Baidu needs a large amount of information to stay in line with Chinese government regulations.

Baidu SEO is crucial for a foreign clinic in China

SEO on Baidu is the key for the visibility of your business, since it is the most used search engine in China and it ranks 5th among the most visited sites in the world. But not only! Baidu is Key to build a strong reputation. The more results there are about your clinic on Baidu, the more trustable you are.

Baidu has more than 800 million web pages and offers a wide range of services, such as web searches, image and music searches, forums and Q&A service. SEO on Baidu requires several steps, which are different from what needs to be done on Google.


Baidu SEO a long term solution for foreign IVF Clinic

The notions of trust and notoriety remain essential for companies wishing to enter the Chinese market and be visible on Baidu. Key SEO strategies include keyword optimization, backlinks, and content sharing, this is the way to generate quality traffic.

Compared with SEA, SEO takes more time, but it is a long-term solution in terms of developing a better e-reputation and is more stable. The quality search results won’t disappear after you stop the campaign, on the contrary, you will remain higher in the rankings and continue to drive traffic.

Optimize your IVF Clinic presence on chinese social media

In China, there are around 1 billion internet users and 91% of Chinese online users have a social media account, in comparison with US where around 67% of online population have one.

The standard Chinese internet user follows an average of eight brands and over 38% of Chinese netizens make purchasing choices based on social media recommendations. As reported by Ogilvy, over 55% of Chinese users had participated in online discussions about brands and that discussions are able to directly affect businesses.

Wechat marketing

  • Wechat Brochure
  • Services Account
  • Group Marketing
  • “Newsletter”
  • Mini program
  • CRM
  • Ads

There is much you can do on Wechat. The app, just like Baidu is crucial in earning the trust of potential Chinese customers. If Wechat is not a great app to build a following, it is a great place to nurture your existing following, a little bit like an email list would be in the west.

RED aka Little Red Book: An unsuspectedly great app to promote IVF Clinic

Why is this a great app for IVF clinics you’ll ask me? Well, very simple, the app user base is mainly composed of women (millennials) from wealthy Chinese cities. The app is a to-go for reviews and testimonials in the high-end beauty and health sector. Motherhood is a non-negligeable segment of RED.

RED is good to gain a following and to engage with it. It is an excellent place to work with KOLs and to build your E-reputation through “shopping notes”.

Chinese Forums and Q&A

Although there is a big demand for IVF in China, many are clueless about their options and what exactly IVF means. Use Q&A & Forums to educate peoples on the topic with useful content (and promote your clinic in a subtle way).

But also, create dialogue, and have peoples expressing themselves about your services as a clinic. Forums and Q&A topic tends to rank well on Chinese search engines and participate actively in building your brand awareness.

Case Study: The international medical center EMC entered the Chinese market

The European Medical Center (EMC), a well-known multIdisciplinary clinic based in Moscow, chose to act a multi-channel marketing strategy to enter the Chinese market due to the greater trust of Chinese patients in foreign healthcare.

Thanks to our support EMC has a chinese website and is present on two of the most popular social networks in China: Weibo and Wechat. It also could rank on 1st page for “famous reproductive clinic in Russia” on Baidu

To conclude on Promoting IFV Clinic in China

an increasing number of chinese women are seeking for fertility treatments. The demand and utilization of these are continually growing, but the barriers are still too high. China isn’t ready to offer a sufficient answer to this huge demand for service yet.

So, in order to fill this gap, foreign companies that can offer fertility treatments, such as IVF or ART, should start building a digital strategy to enter China.

And you’re considering promoting your IVF Clinic in China?

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact us.

Our dedicated team can offer a healthcare plan for China’s Online strategy. We know how to promote your business in China using numerous digital tools, such as E-PR, Media Buying (DSP) & Community Management, Baidu SEO, and SEM.

Read more about:

Similar Posts


  1. Hi GMA team, I recently received a job proposition in the IVF and cryobank sector and would be interested in more information, don’t hesitate to contact me, thank you!

  2. Dear​ sir, i​ am​ running​ ivf​ business​ in​Thailand.​ I​ want​ to​ promote​ my​ business​ in​ China.

    Please​ kindly​ give​ me​ your​ digital​agency package​ to​ me​ and​ all​ details.

  3. We are International ivf clinic. We want to do partnership with clinic in china. We can bring couple from China and do high Class IVF in very less price in very good environment.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *