China - Country Commercial Guide

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

Last published date: 2021-02-04

Medical Devices

As the world’s 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 players. 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 2019 China had 34,354 hospitals, which offered over 6.8 million beds and received 3.84 billion patient visits. Among them, public facilities provided 72.5% of hospital beds and received 85.5% of patient visits.

China’s medical device market continues to experience double-digit growth rates. Commerce Department data shows that in 2019, imports comprised over two-thirds of this market, valued at $19 billion. U.S. suppliers captured 31% of China’s medical device imports in 2018, valued at $5.37 billion with outstanding performance in diagnostic equipment and high-value consumables. A Commerce Department study reported that in 2018, the medical devise sector accounted for 5.7% of China’s GDP and is expected to increase to between 6.5-7% by 2020. 

In terms of overall value of subsectors within the China medical device market, diagnostics imaging, orthopedics and prosthetics products, and patient aids constituted over 50% of the market value. 

 China Medical Device Market in 2019
China Medical Device Market in 2019

Source: FitchSolution

U.S. exporters should also be aware of policies in China that may impact their long-term plans. As noted in this analysis by Marketing to China on the Made in China 2025 initiative, the central government has a goal to increase the use of domestically produced devices in hospitals to 50 percent by 2020, and 70 percent by 2025, as part of an objective to create “national champions” in select sectors.

Imaging and Computer-Aided Diagnostic Equipment 

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. 

Opportunities for U.S. companies include:

•    digital CT scanners
•    digital x-ray machines
•    electrocardiogram (ECG)
•    electroencephalogram (EEG)
•    electromyography (EMG)
•    MRI equipment
•    ultrasound scanning 


As more citizens benefit from the expansion of China’s healthcare system, a result has been an increase in specific healthcare diagnosis. China is facing an increasing challenge to treat patients suffering from neurological and cardiovascular diseases.  

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. Analysis by EqualOcean reported on the rapid growth of the bone prosthetic market, which increased from $1.1 billion in 2010 to $3.8 billion in 2018. 


China has the world’s largest population and is aging rapidly. 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.

In-Vitro Diagonostics (IVD) 

China has been focusing on medical cost control, precision diagnostics and treatment, and prevention of diseases. Through increased investment, the health authority has improved hospital testing centers’ capability and capacity and third-party testing labs. A report from Research and Market shows a growing demand for In-Vitro Diagnostic (IVD) equipment and consumables. China’s IVD market is likely to reach around $17.6 billion by 2026. Market opportunities for U.S. companies exist in immuno-diagnostics, gene-sequencing, and point-of-care testing (POCT).

Trade Events

China Association of Clinical Laboratory Practice Exposition 2021
March 28-30, 2021, Chongqing 
China International Medical Equipment Fair (CMEF) 2021 
May 13-16, 2021, Shanghai 
China International Dental Exhibition & Scientific Conference
June 9-12, 2021, Beijing 
CPhl China (China Pharmaceutical)
June 2021, Shanghai

China BioMed Innovation and Investment Conference
September 2021, Suzhou
DenTech China 2021
October 27-30, 2021, Shanghai
China International Medical Device Regulatory Forum (CIMDR) 2021
November 2021, (TBD)

Web Resources

National Medical Products Administration
National Health Commission
National Healthcare Security Administration