Chinese medical devices are becoming increasingly sophisticated. They are steadily competing against Western devices for domestic sales in China.
However, that has not always been the case. Since the mid-1990s, China struggled with developing medical devices of the same caliber as their Western counterparts. For example, Chinese X-ray machines could not withstand the same amount of voltage as Western X-ray machines. In addition, Chinese medical device companies were still analyzing and copying first-generation Western medical equipment when Western engineers were already developing complex third-generation equipment.
High medical device sales in China are a crucial reason why China is placing more emphasis on developing medical device innovation. In 2010, China’s medical device sales jumped about 23% from the previous year from $15.3 billion to $18.8 billion. Many Chinese medical device companies are targeting low-end markets in an effort to increase sales. Nevertheless, foreign companies still currently control about 70% of China’s high-end medical device market.
But today, Chinese medical device companies such as Wandong, a leading Chinese manufacturer in medical imaging systems, are steadily catching up with Western medical technology.