SHANGHAI – Panasonic Corp. will start a business developing housing for the elderly next spring in China, featuring houses equipped with health care-related home appliances and nursing care devices, company sources said Wednesday.
Panasonic will make the new housing business a pillar of its new operations in China, where society is rapidly aging in a similar manner to Japan and the market for businesses aimed at the elderly is expanding.
The manufacturer will create a so-called Panasonic Town with a total of 800 houses in Jiangsu province. The houses will be equipped with home appliances and devices using artificial intelligence and “internet of things” technologies, the sources said.
Panasonic plans to start building houses in Yixing in Jiangsu in March next year and sell them as early as March 2021 by collaborating with major Chinese health care company Yada International Holdings Ltd., the sources said.
The houses will be marketed as part of a “smart town” being developed by Yada International for the elderly.
The move comes as Panasonic’s China and Northeast Asia unit said it will focus on health care and the business of caring for the elderly at the China International Import Expo, which started Tuesday in Shanghai.
At the exhibition, Panasonic displayed a bedroom that provides a comfortable sleeping environment using AI and a toilet that also measures a resident’s blood pressure.
In China, the population age 60 or older has already reached 250 million, and the number is projected to approach 500 million around 2050.
The company based in Osaka Prefecture also aims to start a house renovation business in the world’s second-largest economy, the sources said.