Wang Xingru and her husband chose a fluffy brown alternative to parenthood named Jing Jing. Before welcoming the year-old toy poodle into their Beijing apartment last summer, the couple spent 5,000 yuan ($786) in veterinary fees, including shots and medication.
This month they paid 288 yuan for a fur-trim, perm and pedicure for the 8-inch-long (20-centimeter) pooch. The treatments add to a pet-care market in China that Euromonitor International Ltd. estimates will reach $1.2 billion this year, helped by a 35 percent jump in pet ownership since 2000.
“We don’t want kids because we feel it’s too expensive and tiring,” said Wang, 39, a legal officer for a state-owned company. “And I don’t want to become a full-time housewife.”
As rising disposable incomes and pet popularity bolster revenue for veterinary services and treatments in China, companies from Paris-based Sanofi (SAN) to Westbrook, Maine-based Idexx Laboratories Inc. (IDXX) are moving in, giving them a buffer from slower demand growth in their home markets.
In a ground-floor treatment room of the Guanshang Animal Hospital in Beijing, a 400,000-yuan ultrasound scanner made by Shenzhen-based Mindray Medical International Ltd. (MR) stands beside a glass table large enough to accommodate a Labrador. One floor above, laboratory technicians run blood tests on devices made by Idexx and Sysmex Corp. (6869) of Japan.
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