Chinese conglomerate Wanda Group is planning to invest CNY15bn ($2.3bn) in hospital developments around the country, in a bid to meet the growing demand for high-end healthcare services.
The investment will be used to build three hospitals in Shanghai, Chengdu and Qingdao.
Under the initiative, the Chinese firm partnered with UK-based International Hospitals Group (IHG), which will be responsible for managing the new hospitals under its own brand.
In China, they will assume the name IHG Wanda International Hospital.
This is claimed to be the first hospital project managed and operated by IHG in China.
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The three hospitals include the 1,000-bed IHG Wanda International Hospital in Shanghai, the 500-bed hospital in Chengdu and the 200-bed hospital in Qingdao.
They will be developed in accordance with the highest international design and construction standards. IHG will ensure the three hospitals secure Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organisations (JCI) or equivalent international accreditations.
Wanda chairman Wang Jianlin said: "Bringing a top level international hospital brand to the Chinese market is a new innovation in China.
"It not only satisfies the growing healthcare needs of the country’s affluent population, but also helps the cities in which these projects are located to elevate their healthcare standards to international levels, and to serve as role models for the development of premium healthcare in China."
The hospital in Qingdao, which is currently under construction, is scheduled to be opened in August 2018.
Construction of the IHG Wanda International Hospital in Chengdu and Shanghai are scheduled to start in the first quarter of this year.
IHG Asia chairman Chester King said: "By partnering with Wanda, IHG will be able to bring its expertise into the booming Chinese healthcare market.
"The collaboration between Wanda and IHG will continue to contribute to commercial relations between China and the UK."
IHG has successfully completed more than 450 healthcare projects in more than 50 countries for private and public sector clients including 22 national governments, the United Nations, the World Bank and the International Finance Corporation.
Image: Wanda Group and International Hospitals Group at a signing ceremony. Photo: courtesy of Wanda Group.