Skip to content
Subscriber Only

The Year of the Monkey Could Mean a Chinese Baby Boom

  • Merck KGaA reports stronger 3Q fertility-drug sales in China
  • Maternity hospital group says bookings increased by up to 30%
RIZHAO, CHINA - JANUARY 13: (CHINA OUT) Dough monkeys made by dough sculpture artist Li Jinguo are seen on January 13, 2016 in Rizhao, Shandong Province of China. Li Jinguo, a dough sculpture artist in east China's Rizhao City made one hundred dough monkeys in about five kilograms of dough winthin two weeks to welcome the upcoming Year of the Monkey.
Photographer: ChinaFotoPress via Getty Images
Updated on

Those born in the year of the monkey are said to be crafty, clever and charming. That’s spurred some couples in China to delay parenthood until the less-auspicious sheep year ends -- a balm for companies offering fertility products and obstetric services.

The change in the Chinese zodiac from sheep to monkey, which happens this year on Feb. 8, has helped boost maternity bookings by as much as 30 percent at Harmonicare Medical Holdings Ltd.’s 72-bed hospital in Beijing, the company said. German drugmaker Merck KGaA said sales of fertility-related medications increased in China late last year as couples sought to build the ranks of little monkeys.