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Chinese eye doctor chain launches in Tennessee – China’s latest business and technology news


Aier Eye Hospital, a company based in Changsha, Hunan Province, invested $50 million into a U.S. subsidiary late last year, which will be based in Nashville, Tennessee. Aier established a foothold in the U.S. by acquiring Wang Vision Institute, the best known provider of LASIK surgery in Music City, which counts country music star Dolly Parton as a patient. Aier is listed on the Shenzhen stock exchange and has facilities in 170 locations in China, as well as in Spain, France, Italy, and Austria. According to Forbes, the company is “known for its network of eye hospitals in secondary cities and rural areas, establishing facilities in areas with scanty or inadequate healthcare.”

Wang Ming 王明, the founder of Wang Vision Institute, has become the CEO of Aier’s American company, and told Forbes that its business in China had been built because about 50 percent of its patients paid for elective surgery rather than use insurance. He added that “there is a healthcare trend in the U.S. shifting to patients paying more in private care. Aier’s strategy fits with this general trend toward more cash payment.” As it did in China, Aier plans to open in underserved areas where hospitals are closing, starting in rural Tennessee. Wang says that Aier’s economies of scale mean that its services will be available at affordable prices.


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Lucas Niewenhuis

Lucas Niewenhuis is an associate editor at SupChina who helps curate daily news and produce the company's newsletter, app, and website content. Previously, Lucas researched China-Africa relations at the Social Science Research Council and interned at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York. He has studied Chinese language and culture in Shanghai and Beijing, and is a graduate of the University of Michigan.