Hebe Chen, from TimePie, a Fudan University-alumni-based team interested in communicating the latest aging research to China, joins us to spotlight the upcoming fourth TimePie Longevity Forum, which is taking place in Shanghai on 9 & 10 December 2023.
TimePie, a pioneering non-profit leader dedicated to promoting healthy aging in China, will stage its fourth Longevity Forum on December 9-10. The event will bring together esteemed scientists, entrepreneurs, investors, and enthusiasts in the field from China and globally.
The inaugural TimePie Longevity Forum was conducted in 2020, completely virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As a nascent player in China’s longevity and antiaging arena, TimePie was honored to garner support from some of the most recognized and influential figures in the field.
Thanks to this substantial backing, the TimePie Longevity Forum has evolved from a small-scale online gathering to a global event with thousands of attendees spanning academia, investments, industries, and biohackers; Miss Shi Ying, co-founder of TimePie and organizer of the Forum, expresses profound gratitude for the unwavering support globally and domestically.
The exploration of longevity in China can be traced back to the Qin Dynasty, corresponding to the era of the Roman Republic in the West. In recent years, China’s antiaging research has witnessed swift progression. It’s clear that adopting advanced international insights is a rising trend, along with concurrently presenting the real progress of China’s antiaging industry to the world.
Scientific progress in China
The scientific study of antiaging has evolved at an accelerated pace and become a vibrant part of China’s research landscape.
For instance, a team from Beijing University led by Deng Hongkui in 2013 unveiled small-molecule compounds that induced pluripotent stem cells from mouse somatic cells , a full decade before David Sinclair’s similar discovery .
This momentum continued as Professor Ding Sheng from Tsinghua University managed to define a chemical cocktail for the induction of mouse totipotent in 2022 .
Simultaneously, Lin Shengcai from Xiamen University unraveled the direct action target of metformin  the same year, contributing significantly to our understanding of this widely-used drug’s mechanism.
In a shift from cellular to visual biomarkers, in 2015, Jing-Dong Jackie Han from Beijing University developed a novel biological clock based on 3D human facial morphologies , adding another dimension to aging research.
Amid these scientific feats, a key educational milestone was achieved when Tsinghua University’s Professor Wang Zhao launched the first undergraduate course dedicated to the Biology of Aging in 2021, fostering the next generation of scientists.
Looking forward, the recent establishment of the Aging Biomarker Consortium (ABC) initiated by Liu Guanghui from the Chinese Academy of Sciences promises to usher in a new era for aging research in China. With over ninety research groups, the ABC aims to establish an accurate biological-age-evaluation system for the Chinese population, which can serve as a foundation for future collaboration with other aging research consortia worldwide .
A market with untapped potential
China, home to over 260 million citizens aged 60 and above, equivalent to nearly 80% of the entire US population, is a hotbed for untapped potential. Over 80% of Chinese consumers begin using antiaging products before they reach 35. Given that those over 35 make up about 57% of the population, this equates to a potential consumer base of 800 million individuals. This statistic reveals a vast market opportunity for antiaging and longevity products.
The longevity market has experienced consistent growth in recent years, driven by heightened consumer awareness. Products that were once medical technologies to treat diseases are now being used to combat aging. Advances in gene editing, cell therapy, artificial intelligence, regenerative medicine, and antiaging mechanisms have bolstered consumer confidence in these products, backed by robust technical validation.
However, the understanding of key market aspects such as brand building, consumer insight, and consumer communication is significantly lagging in the domestic antiaging product market. This has resulted in antiaging products struggling to convince consumers of their efficacy, perpetually stuck in a cycle of self-validation.
Currently, the antiaging companies in the market are typically in the A or B funding round stage, similar to the maturity of the US market five years ago. These companies often possess unique technologies, processes, or products that can stimulate new consumer demands for antiaging. In addition to externally applied antiaging products like cosmetic injections, antiaging beauty devices, and functional skincare products, a plethora of products offering personalized internal antiaging solutions through biological therapy and gene technology are also emerging.
Now is the prime time to invest in the antiaging sector, with Chinese antiaging companies in the golden period for investment. The TimePie Longevity Forum aims to be the leading platform to drive the global discourse on antiaging. By bringing together the scientific community, the general public, and the industry, the forum seeks to demystify and democratize the understanding of antiaging.
A pioneering leader in the antiaging media matrix in China, TimePie was established by illustrious graduates from the Schools of Medicine, Pharmacy, and Biology of Fudan University, Shanghai.
The organization is dedicated to the cause of educating the Chinese public about the most recent breakthroughs and insights in antiaging research.
In a mere four years since its conception, TimePie has reached an extensive community of over 1 million antiaging enthusiasts and aficionados. The platform houses a wealth of knowledge, with a collection of 1400+ original aging science articles and more than 5,000 videos, creating a dynamic space for the exchange of ideas and experiences