• Ernie Diaz

China Braces Itself

Guess which Hong Kong IPO has made the biggest splash in recent memory, closing up 130%, at $51 a share, on its first day of trading? Not a chip maker, AI software company, or any such organization helping China jockey for pole position in this 4th industrial turning.

Rather, it was an orthodontics enterprise. Shanghai-based Angelalign makes braces. Clear braces, to be precise. The Chinese want straight, healthy choppers like never before, and they, too, don't want to look like they had a bus transmission for lunch in the process. The company is expected to grow eightfold over the next few years, so frothy is the industry.

"It's hard to express the demand and growth potential for so-called 'niche industries' in China," says Jimmie Jeremejev, "especially those that speak to a first-world lifestyle. While cosmetic surgery is pretty well covered, there are still a host of services: mental healthcare, for example, that are woefully undersupplied considering potential demand. The formula is simple - if a service is saturated in North America or Europe, but untapped in China, it's a high-growth industry."

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