By 2020, it is estimated that China's medical device market will generate over RMB800 billion in revenue, more than twice as much as in 2015. Over the past few years, the industry has consistently outperformed the GDP growth rate. The Chinese foreign trade in medical devices grew at a rate of nearly 10% per year from 2015 to 2019, which outpaced global growth and made China an increasingly important market for international medical device commerce.
Medical instruments company China market regulations have changed in recent years, with local and national authorities rolling out policies that favor domestic manufacturers over foreign brands. The hebei china wholesale hospital beds supply however impractical to fully localize the medical device market, especially because imports from foreign manufacturers are still a crucial way for innovations to reach the market.
Foreign trade in medical devices in China has increased by nearly 10% per year from 2015 to 2019, outpacing the growth rate worldwide. Therefore, foreign firms can no longer ignore China. Although it has regulatory and competitive environments that are distinctive to each nation, it nonetheless has its own. Considering the market's needs is imperative for device manufacturers.
How to enter the Chinese market
When a manufacturer wants to sell products in China, they must then figure out how to do so. The three main routes to market are:
Rely purely on importing. The process can be performed more quickly and with less capital investment. Furthermore, imports help reduce the risk of intellectual property theft.
Directly invest in setting up a local operation. Capital investment is required and the process of entering the market takes longer, but in the long run manufacturers can lower production costs and develop localized after-sales services.
Partner with an OEM. By using a local manufacturer, the company can meet local production requirements and reduce regulatory barriers.
With reforms in the medical device industry, tax incentives, local financial subsidies, and local government support for compliance are becoming more important considerations for the incorporation of a business in China than traditional issues such as labor costs and infrastructure.
How to thrive in a price competitive market?
The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated approvals of medical devices, which is putting price pressure on foreign firms. Hospitals have also become more price-sensitive as part of the government's reforms designed to reduce healthcare costs. To thrive in this market, medical device manufacturers can follow these steps:
Rather than focusing on product margins, target volume. With the size of the Chinese market, even with small margins on individual products, overall profits can still be substantial
It is difficult for local suppliers to undercut the value of establishing a high-value, technical niche
Consider partnerships with domestic firms for rapid value-add growth in the medical industry arising from the Internet of Medical Things (IoMT)
For multinational medical device firms to capture future market growth in China, their current business model and supply chain must be re-evaluated to mitigate current short term price and cost pressure.
One of the opportunities in the medical device market is in China. It is a rapidly growing market. But manufacturers of medical devices should be mindful of how they want to position themselves in the market and secure government support. In China, more foreign firms are adopting 'In China, For China' strategies, enabling them to make better use of China's enormous potential and respond to changes in demand more quickly. The future growth of the China market will require multinational medical device companies to invest in innovative technology and rethink their market strategies beyond the short term changes in competitive and regulatory environments.
As a result of accelerated approvals for medical devices due to the COVID-19 pandemic, foreign manufacturers are also experiencing price pressure. Hospitals are also more price-sensitive due to government reforms designed to lower healthcare costs. For example, stent prices dropped by 90% after China's VBP system was introduced for high-value medical consumables.