The birthrate in Taiwan and mainland China is lingeringly low, and it is causing a growing number of people to adopt and raise pets instead of children. This boom in pet adoption is making the pet product market skyrocket and it is now generating a staggering $16.2 billion a year.
Currently there are about 2 million pets in Taiwan and business opportunities in the pet industry are estimated at $970 million to $1.6 billion. In mainland China the number of domesticated pets is a whopping 150 million, creating annual business opportunities of upwards of $14.5 billion.
Of course this major increase in the market has Taiwanese investors itching to cash in on the enormous earning potential. Business opportunities are endless with boarding and grooming, pet supplies, pet food, and custom pet products.
In the past, animals were not really kept for companionship in Taiwan or China. People didn’t keep animals unless they served a purpose. Cats were kept to keep the house free of rodents and dogs were only kept to guard the property.
Now, with the birthrate dwindling dramatically, more people are looking to pets for company; much like furry family members, a custom that has been prevalent in the U.S. for many years. In fact, in some first-tier cities in China pets are considered a symbol of wealth because ownership certificates are under tight control.
Many pet businesses do not have a lot of set regulations to follow right now because they are so new to the area. For example, no government-set standards exist to govern the issuing of licenses for pet groomers in Taiwan because these businesses were not common until very recently.
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Instead, the standards in Taiwan are created by industrial associations. In China, pet grooming licenses are issued by the government, but there are still a lot of unlicensed groomers since the process for overseeing the licenses still isn’t very strict.
In Taiwan there are about 1,000 legally registered pet shops and they are typically much smaller than shops located on the mainland. In mainland China the number of larger pet shops that offer multiple services is increasing at an annual rate of over 1,000.
This giant boom in the pet industry is tempting many pet product retailers to look into expanding into the Chinese and Taiwanese markets. Many online retailers are already seeing a larger growth in the sales that they are shipping to those countries.