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China: now and in five years

China is still taking the lead in terms of economic growth - it has got through the pandemic first and its growth rate has picked up before other Western and emerging markets.

We still expect to see its robust growth to 2025 and well above the developed markets and offer opportunities to investors.

We are seeing continued integration of China within global financial markets and continued opening of China’s capital markets to foreign investors. China’s equity and bond markets are steadily being included into the major global indices to reflect China's place in the world. 

GDP real growth

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Accelerated trends in post-pandemic China

The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated a series of trends, such as ongoing industry consolidation as smaller firms struggle to survive; the shift from offline to online across business segments, and investment in R&D and innovation, driven by growing demand for automated solutions.

Key trend 1: Offline to online shift

During pandemic, the shift from offline to online has accelerated in China. It has likely resulted in a long-term behavior change.

For instance, online education companies have seen a huge increase in downloads during the COVID-19 outbreak, and online games producers have benefited from the increase of players and play time during the outbreak period. We believe that the best companies in these spaces have the potential to increase its market share from both other online competitors as well as players in the offline space.

Online traffic has seen sharp upstick

Weekly time spent in mins (2020 vs. 2019)

Source: Questmobile as of April 2020

Key trend 2: Healthcare - the next frontier

Different sectors within healthcare industry are growing rapidly in China. During the pandemic, online healthcare apps have quickly sprung up to cater to surging demand in China. Healthtech is just one of the emerging sub-sectors in China’s evolving healthcare industry. 

Fundamental drivers look strong for healthcare sector:

1. China has a huge need for healthcare services

As healthcare spending per capita in China is still very low by international standards1, China's healthcare market is expected to reach 198 billion yuan ($28.59 billion) in 2026, increasing tenfold from 20162.

2. Chinese government provides strong support

Healthcare features heavily in both the 13th Five-Year Plan and its Healthy China 2030 strategy. The Chinese government also promote internet-based healthcare, encouraging medical institutions to leverage internet-based technologies to improve the efficiency of medical services.

In the next decade in China, healthcare sector is just like the next technology sector, where we’ll see more emerging leaders arise.

Bin Shi, Head of China Equities at UBS Asset Management

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