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The Chinese Medical Equipment Market Presents Great Opportunities



Best Prospect: Medical Equipment

Market Overview:

China is now the world's eighth largest market for medical equipment, according to
published market data, and continues to grow at a tremendous pace. The combined value
of imports and exports of medical devices in 2004 was nearly $6.1 billion, of which
imports accounted for $3.3 billion, or 54 %. Sales of high-end ticket medical equipment,
much of which is imported, has been increasing by 20% per annum. Another industry
source stated that China's medical equipment market topped $6.8 billion in 2005.
China's total market size is said to be growing at about 15 % per annum and has been
forecasted to exceed US$8 billion in 2006.

The top three supplier countries through 2004 include the United States, which sold $904
million worth of equipment and captured a 27.54 % market share. Second, exports from
Japan topped $682 million and garnered a 20.78% share. Third, German suppliers
grabbed 17.96% of the market with $589 million in exports. Seven of the ten best selling
producers of medical equipment in China are joint ventures and foreign-invested firms.
Moreover, the leading fifty foreign and domestic firms in this industry in China account
for over fifty percent of total sales and profits. Currently, Chinese end users view U.S.
products as superior in quality and the most technologically advanced. China's hospitals
particularly welcome medical equipment and products with high-technology content. At
the same time, domestic medical device companies are consolidating, upgrading quality,
and beginning to compete in medium-level technology niches.

Although the long-term outlook for American suppliers is good, the problem of
redundancy in the product registration testing process and the uncertainty of the
regulatory environment (centralized procurement regulations and pricing issues) will
continue to have an impact upon the profit expectations for U.S. companies doing
business in China.




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