Most in the MedTech industry have some experience with China including:
- Sourcing lower priced components, sub-assemblies
- Purchasing finished devices
- Joint venture manufacturing
- Manufacturing devices at your own factory
- Selling into the local market
- Expanding international sales into China
If you are selling in China, it’s likely you’ve discovered for long-term success that you also need to be purchasing or manufacturing there. This leads to the question: are you in China for long-term growth?
It’s an exciting market in positive ways (market size, growth rates) and less positive (regulatory changes, intellectual property [IP] protections).
If you’re not already selling in the Chinese market, now is the time to get in. To put things in perspective, The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) predicts that by 2018, the annual Chinese healthcare expenditure will reach $680.4 billion, a 7.44% growth year-over-year. Increasing middle-class incomes and the Chinese government’s commitment to meet healthcare needs of its large population, are driving growth.
What are the keys to success for growing long-term profitably in China?
- Design and produce in China for China; don’t try to sell EU, American products
- Understand regulatory pathway; stay persistent, patient
- Understand reimbursement; every region has its own plan
- Find your IP equilibrium; share enough to be protected, keep enough trade secrets so parts are difficult to copy
- Medical device success starts with understanding clinical needs
- Find the best distributor for each region; it’s likely you may not have one master distributor for China. It’s important that you do not let the distributor own your CFDA registration; firing that distributor is difficult and expensive if they own your regulatory certification or China IP
If you agree this is the right path for you but have concerns or need additional expertise, find a good partner or hire a good consultant with any (or all) of the above.
Feel free to contact us as we have 20 years of experience in China and can assist in finding the right help to increase probabilities for success in the Chinese market.