China to fully open elderly care market by 2020

Xinhua, January 17, 2017
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China will fully open its elderly care market by 2020, according to a policy document made public on Friday by the General Office of the State Council.

The move will substantially increase the supply of products and services in the market, standardize regulations and raise service quality, the document said.

Foreign investment in the sector -- which will serve a role in social and economic development -- will be facilitated and administrative approval procedures simplified, it said.

The document also said the government will step up reforms of public elderly care institutions and build a credit system for the sector.

Authorities will work to raise service quality of elderly care in urban communities and rural areas, and promote Internet-based elderly care service across the country to put services in immediate reach.

The government will also adjust land, employment and finance policies to support the elderly care sector, the document said.

China's aging society is a major social issue. There are currently more than 220 million people over 60 years old in the country, 16.1 percent of the population, with numbers growing.

A total of 15.3 percent of senior citizens believe they need to be taken care of, more than double the number in 2000.