While markets enjoy watching the rapid devouring of fitness startups and online publishing companies in places like Silicon Valley and London, it seems the frenzy has spread much further than many analysts have predicted. While everyone is watching major players in the U.S big deals are being made in lesser talked about market’s in East Asia including Hong Kong, Taiwan and China itself. |
With growing wealth, international exposure and affluency the growing middle and upper classes in Asia are looking for as many investment avenues as possible and health and fitness are being seen as a type of long-term investment worthy of pursuing. For this reason there has been an explosion in gym membership signups, with new gyms opening across small island countries such as Taiwan. There has also been a boom in health food stores offering a healthier alternative to more oily and salty traditional fare.
Outside of brick and mortar businesses, online publishing companies are also being shaken up behind scenes. For example, the long-standing Chinese Mingsheng.org brand was recently absorbed by the fitness startup HEALTH1ME out of Taipei, Taiwan but with a presence in Hong Kong as well.
The acquisition of web properties, brands and audiences is a common part of the online publishing industry, however the recent activity within the health industry in particular is exciting given the relative youthfulness of the sector in the East Asian and Chinese speaking regions of the world.
HEALTH1ME focuses on publishing actionable and practical resources on topics such as weight loss, health eating and living, exercise and general fitness. The demand for such media is high as enthusiastic exercises in Hong Kong and Taiwan are hungry for resources to help them plan their next diet, nutrition plan or workout routine.
The health and fitness market in East Asia is only expected to mature rapidly throughout 2016 and really take off from 2017 onwards. Expect more publishing mergers and acquisitions across popular industries and growing industries alike.
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