China - Country Commercial Guide
Healthcare

This is a best prospect industry sector for this country.  Includes a market overview and trade data.

Last published date: 2022-01-04

Medical Devices

As the worlds second-largest healthcare market, China presents opportunities to U.S. exporters in many healthcare sub-sectors. Medical devices remain the most dynamic and strategically important healthcare sales sector for foreign businesses. High-end and technology-heavy medical devices are primarily imported, while domestic products dominate the low to mid-market segments.

Public hospitals remain the dominant buyers of medical devices. Data from the Chinese-language website of the National Health Commission indicated that by 2020 China had 35,394 hospitals, which offered over 7.1 million beds and received 3.32 billion patient visits. Among them, public facilities provided 71.4% of hospital beds and received 84% of patient visits.

The medical device market in China is expected to expand by a 2020-2025 CAGR of 6.2%, which should see it rise to USD38.4 billion by 2025. Imports of medical devices comprised over two-thirds of China’s market, which grew by 11.1% to USD19.2 billion in 2019. U.S. suppliers captured 28.5% of China’s medical device imports in 2019, valued at USD5.46 billion with outstanding performance in diagnostic equipment and high-value consumables.

In terms of subsectors within the China medical device market, diagnostics imaging and consumables constituted about 50% of the market value.

​​China Medical Device Market: 2020
China Medical Device Market; 2020

Data Source:Fitchsolutions

China’s National Medical Products Administration (NMPA, counterpart of the U.S. FDA) has enforced the Unique Device Identification (UDI) labeling on selected Class III medical devices since January 2021. This enforcement will expand to cover all Class III medical devices by March 1, 2022.  The industry believes the implementation of UDI will harmonize China’s medical device regulations with international standards and practices and improve medical device safety through strengthened traceability and post-market surveillance.

U.S. exporters should also be aware of policies in China that may impact their long-term plans, such as volume-based procurement (VBP) and diagnosis-related group (DRG) pricing. Additionally, public hospitals are now facing increasing pressure from the central and local governments to limit their procurement of imported medical devices and medical equipment.

Diagonistic Imaging

China’s central government has set the goal of improving its citizens’ wellbeing by implementing the national healthcare strategy, Healthy China 2030. Building up the hierarchical medical system across the country is one of the top priorities. This initiative includes plans to establish and strengthen the capability of medical institutes and clinical labs. The adoption of a three-child policy also increases the demand for ultrasound scans. 

Opportunities for U.S. companies include digital CT scanners, digital x-ray machines, electrocardiography (ECG), electroencephalography (EEG), electromyography (EMG), MRI equipment, and ultrasound scanners.

Consumables

Implants 

China registered 264 million people aged 60 and above by the end of 2020, accounting for 18.7% of the total population. This demographic is expected to reach over 300 million by 2025. Chinese government data reveals over 300 million patients with chronic diseases, including stroke, coronary heart disease, and diabetes. The expanded medical insurance coverage also increased the demand for implants in the neurology and cardiovascular sectors, where high-value consumables are still import-dependent.  

U.S. companies’ market opportunities exist for skull implants such as titanium plates, skull lock, skull titanium mesh, bone fillers for nerve-related implants, and cardiovascular-related implants such as stents and the related tubes, wires, and balloons.

In-Vitro Diagnostics (IVD)

China has been focusing on medical cost control, precision diagnostics and treatment, and prevention of diseases. The health authority has improved hospital testing centers’ capability and capacity through increased investment, third-party testing labs, and general public’s health management. Market opportunities for U.S. companies exist in immuno-diagnostics, gene-sequencing, and point-of-care testing (POCT).

Orthopedics

China has the world’s largest population reaching over 1.4 billion by the end of 2020, and is aging rapidly with a higher incidence of musculoskeletal disorders, particularly osteoarthritis and osteoporosis. With the expansion of the scope of basic medical insurance, the demand for orthopedics products has grown. Market opportunities for U.S. companies exist for joint-related products such as artificial hip joints, knee joints, shoulder joints, and elbow joints, and spine-related products such as spinous bridges, titanium meshes, and cages.

Trade Events

  • China International Medical Equipment Fair (CMEF) 2022-Shanghai
  • China International Natural Health & Nutrition Expo-Shanghai
  • China Hospital Construction Conference 2022-TBD
  • China BioMed Innovation and Investment Conference-Suzhou
  • DenTech China 2022-Shanghai
  • CPhl China (China Pharmaceutical) -Shanghai