China’s health-technology industry update

This country outlook is part of a short series of introducing priority sectors that Team Finland China has chosen for 2022. Team Finland China is a network of public actors and Finnish business chambers in China. The network promotes Finland and its interests abroad: the internationalization of Finnish enterprises, investments in Finland, and the country brand. In total, there are nine focus areas, in which Team Finland actors proactively plan their activities, to help Finnish companies to enter China and grow in Chinese market. Team Finland China priority sectors for 2022 are 1) ICT, 2) food and agro, 3) health technology, 4) energy, 5) bio economy, chemicals and built environment, 6) metal and machinery, 7) maritime, 8) education (incl. research and talent boost) and 9) winter sports.

Photo: Sakari Piippo, Finland Promotion Board

Chinese health care industry is a large and growing market. Catalysed by COVID-19, the industry continues to evolve with strong emphasis on higher quality of care, prevention and early diagnostics, digital health, and the ageing population. Finland has strong and relevant experience to share in particular in the areas of innovative medical devices, digital health solutions, and agetech.

The Chinese medical devices market is about 20% of global market share and the industry has been growing rapidly (20% since 2015) in recent years. Foreign export of high value medical devices continues to be important in China and takes more than half of the market share. For Finland, health technology is the largest and one of the fastest growing export segments of high tech Finnish industry, China being one of the top 3 global markets for Finland. Within vitro diagnostics (IVDs), China is already the single largest target country for Finland.

The digital health market has been developing fast in the recent years especially during the COVID-19, and the market is expected to multiply its size in the coming years. Within digital health, AI in healthcare and digital therapeutics are considered to have the strongest growth and developing those areas is expected to be a priority to Chinese government for the years to come. Finnish companies are well placed to offer solutions towards digitalised and intelligent healthcare system with their high-level digital knowhow and multidisciplinary problem solving approach.

As regards aged care, the market in China is growing and expected to reach to nearly 20 trillion RMB by 2030. As an early adopter of ageing society, Finland has good experience to share in particular in introduction and use of smart technologies to create a senior friendly society.

In Hong Kong, the healthcare sector offers opportunities for Finnish health tech companies looking for financing to scale up their business in China, in the region or globally. Hong Kong is the world’s second largest fundraising hub for pharmaceutical developers and medical device makers.

While the growth potential in healthcare industry is strong, good understanding of regulatory framework and policy trends in the sector require close monitoring.

Sanorita Li
Senior Advisor (Health)
Business Finland in Beijing, China
+86 150 1119 1662