The Chinese Market for Medical Device Technology braves the Economic Crisis

Record Attendance at the CMEF 09 in Shenzhen
Shenzhen welcomes to the CMEF 2009 (PresseBox) (Laudenbach, ) Their names are Freddie, Liza, Jim or similar, the employees of Chinese companies with customers mainly located in the English-speaking countries of the world. They use names sounding more Western – just to simplify things – and feel a lot cooler. But all joking aside: How do you address a Chinese with the last name Ng? Leave the first name aside. It’s hard to figure out anyways since the Chinese address each other mainly by last names respectively family names. Although there are more than 700 Chinese family names, the majority shares about 20 last names which could lead the amateur to the assumption that they might be just very popular first names.

These are the very first impressions of a business man who travelled a lot in his life and now enters China for the first time. Indeed, a lot of things are very different from at home but again also very different from what you might expect. But let’s take one thing at a time: The arrival in Shenzhen via Hong Kong is easier and saves one overnight stay compared with travelling via Peking. There is a direct bus line from Hong Kong to Shenzhen which takes you in about 50 minutes to your target. The city itself comes as a surprise. Separated from Hong Kong only by a river, Shenzhen is considered as one of the most relevant economic metropolis of the country. Today it is one of the fastest growing cities in the world with its 12 million inhabitants (1979: 30.000 inhabitants). The part of the city where the fair- and congress center is located, is brand new and posh – Western style all over with lots of glass, natural stones and premium steel. That applies for the brand-spanking new Metro as well. Buying tickets and information services are tops! Including the information about the traffic situation and the routing are much better than in Germany. The travelling guest knows at all times where exactly he is, which direction the train is going, what the name of the next station is and how long it will take him to get there. Just one small problem here is the script and the language… So here again the only solution when using classical means of transport such as taxis is: Show a business card of the hotel in Chinese and have the desk clerk write down your target in Chinese and English. To hope for an English-speaking taxis driver remains a dream. About the hotel: Tops of the local 5* standard is the Sheraton Futian Hotel (rate per night during fairs: 160-180 Euro, 3 minutes walking distance to the fair grounds). The dishes at the hotel restaurant are of highest quality and on a European level but a whole lot more reasonable.

Free communication is still limited, including the internet. The author is used to sending eMail through a protected line worldwide. But this does not work for China. Perhaps you cannot peep in on those lines? Here the jungle principle applies: two mobile accounts and two internet accounts. This might protect you a bit more from unpleasant surprises. Mobile telephony is very cheap in China. You can watch it in the metro: four of five travellers are permanently on the phone – despite their low incomes. A worker in the medical device technology industry makes about 200 Euro a month. Please note on thing though: The German VISA agencies, especially in Berlin, are right to refer to the low-cost prepaid cards and sell them right away together with the visa charges. But they state falsely: You can call Germany without any problems for less than 10 percent of the regular costs. A word and a blow and a purchase – and fooled. Normally those cards just work within the country – so no calls abroad! Theoretically those calls are possible if – you have applied for an activation at the subsidiary of the provider in country. But that again only works if you speak Chinese or have an interpreter at hand. In this particular case the author arrived on a Friday afternoon. Saturday and Sunday the place was closed, on Monday was the last day of the fair – and four days had passed.

About the fair: The CMEF (China International Medical Equipment Fair) is a trade show organized by the UK-group Reeds in cooperation with the Chinese branch association for the medical device industry CAMDI. Founded in 1990, the CAMDI has about 5,000 members. By way of comparison: The SPECTARIS trade association for medical device technology has only about 300 members. Here a few more interesting facts and figures: Chinese manufacturers of medical device technology >7,000. Hospitals about 180,000 with 3 million beds. Retailers of medical device technology products in China: More than 60,000. Market figures are very volatile, exact figures hardly determinable. Thus the above mentioned figures are located somewhere at the foot of the list currently in circulation.

Against this background, the fair is definitely one of the most relevant ones in Asia in its nearly 30 years. About 65,000 visitors came – which is according to the exhibitors about 20 percent more than the previous year. About 15 percent of the exhibitors were from abroad – an increase of 50 percent. Germany was presented in two collective booths of Baden-Wurttemberg and Bavaria and a total of about 25 exhibiting companies. Those German companies were in a good spirit – everybody had made his own experience with the market entry in China - and paid dearly. In the opinion of the author, the Chinese market of medical device technology might be about ten-times larger than the German speaking area (Germany/Austria/Switzerland) – and it is still on the fast track. The medical device technology branch expects a growth of about 10 percent over the next few years. It is beyond doubt for global manufacturers: This market has to be served - or at least kept an eye on it!

SCHILLINGER (BDU) was right on target with the marketing its product World Directory MEDICAL DISTRIBUTORS! Chinese manufacturer put more and more emphasis on marketing their products on the international markets worldwide. As a premier SCHILLINGER (BDU) announced the launch of the internet version. This online version has extensive search- and data export functions for an even more efficient search for business partners. International business people welcomed with cheers. The Chinese reaction was slightly more reserved. The reason is rather mundane: Not even 10 percent of the Chinese industry has internet access...

Kontakt

SCHILLINGER Digital Business Resources GmbH
Südring 17
D-69514 Laudenbach
Brigitte Höhn
Geschäftsleitung
Social Media