Singapore Firms Give China Couples’ Baby-Making Efforts A Push

By Lim Yan Liang
The Straits Times, Singapore / Asia News Network

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) A group of Singapore companies have teamed up to launch an online reality show focusing on fertility. The hope is to tap into China’s burgeoning assisted reproductive health market.

The Straits Times, Singapore / Asia News Network

For the past six months, interior designer Zhang Jiemei has been trying for a second child — an option that became available only after China overturned its 35-year-old one-child policy.

“The house is rather quiet, as my son is 18 this year and in senior middle school,” said Ms Zhang, 40. “And my husband and I are still healthy, so we want the joy of raising another child.”

But Ms Zhang knows the clock is ticking as she is past prime child-bearing age, and said she will turn to in-vitro fertilization (IVF) if she is not pregnant by the end of the year.

Couples like the Zhangs are why a group of Singapore companies have teamed up to launch an online reality show, hoping to tap into China’s burgeoning assisted reproductive health market.

And they are a sizeable and lucrative crowd; the National Health and Family Planning Commission said 2016’s rule change, meant to arrest China’s dwindling birth rate, has freed up 90 million more women to have a second child. Of these, more than half are over the age of 40.

Couple this with growing affluence and societal changes that have made conception more difficult, such as later marriages and thus childbearing, and China’s IVF market is expected to more than double to be worth US$1.5 billion (S$2 billion) by 2022, said BIS Research.

The series, which bills itself as the world’s first fertility reality show inspired by China’s second child policy, wants to educate couples about different ways to raise the odds of conceiving a child, said its Singaporean creator, Dr Yu Wei Siang.

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