Chinese Medical Devices to Soon Compete with Western Counterparts

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.