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People's Daily Online>>China Business

Healthcare giants target expansion in China market

By Liang Fei  (Global Times)

08:18, April 20, 2012

German chemical and pharmaceutical company Bayer AG yesterday announced that its China sales in 2011 topped 3 billion euros ($3.93 billion), accounting for 8 percent of its global sales.

Though its 2011 sales showed a moderate growth compared with a year ago, the company aims to double sales in China to 6 billion euros by 2015, Johannes Dietsch, president of Bayer China Group, said at a press conference yesterday in Beijing.

For Bayer, China is the third largest market globally and the first in Asia-Pacific, said Dietsch.

Bayer's business in China mainly covers three areas: healthcare, crop science and material science. The material science department accounts for 50 percent of the company's business in China, but Dietsch said that its healthcare business is expected to demonstrate fastest growth in the future.

China's healthcare market has grown more than 20 percent during the past few years, according to Liu Wei, an industry analyst with the CIC Industry Research Center, and the fast growth is creating opportunities which no foreign company can afford to ignore.

GE Healthcare, a unit of General Electric, is also stepping up efforts to expand in the Chinese healthcare market. The company said it will introduce over 40 new products for the Chinese market in the next three years, with 70 percent of them dedicated to the primary healthcare market.

To support product development, the company launched an innovation center in Chengdu in March and moved its X-ray research center to Beijing last year.

Liu from the CIC Industry Research Center said mergers and acquisitions have been a common practice for foreign pharmaceutical companies to strengthen their foothold in the Chinese market.

Swiss drug giant Novartis AG last year acquired 85 percent of the vaccine producer Zhejiang Tianyuan Bio-Pharmaceutical Co. Pfizer and Cardinal Health have also invested in domestic pharmaceutical companies.

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