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People’s Daily: The latest about Medical Devices

Export of Medical Devices See Sharp Increase Despite Weakness
On November 19, the official website of the State Council forwarded an article from the People’s Daily, which stated that in the first 10 months, China’s imports and exports of foreign trade reached CNY 25.63 trillion, an increase of 2.4% year-on-year, of which exports contributed CNY 13.99 trillion, up 4.9%.
In the world-wide downturn of trade and investment, China faces of an environment with various challenges and uncertainty. Nonetheless, China’s import and export scale is stable on the whole, with continuous upgrade of structure and steady improvement of quality.
In the first 10 months, the import and export of general trade, which has a long domestic industry chain and better embodies China’s autonomy in foreign trade, increased by 4.8%, 2.4% higher than the overall growth rate of foreign trade, of which exports contributed CNY 8.14 trillion, up 8.5%. Exports of products concerning integrated circuits, PV, electricity, and medical devices were above average.
High-end medical devices slumps in export
According to public data, the main exporting provinces (regions and cities) of medical devices mainly concentrated in China’s Pearl River Delta and Yangtze River Delta regions. Guangdong, Jiangsu and Zhejiang accounted for 60% of China’s total export.
In addition, among the top ten exporting provinces, the exports of all provinces, except for Shanghai and Liaoning, has increased significantly. Exports from Hubei, Shandong and Anhui all grew by more than 10%.
It is reported that although the export value has increased, most of the medical devices exported by China are still low-value consumables, mid- and low-end products. The industry relies heavily on low-cost factors such as raw materials and labor.
The top ten exports, which are mainly massage health appliances and medical consumable dressings, accounted for 44.5% of the total exports of medical devices. Among them, the exports of massage appliances reached USD 2.292 billion, with a year-on-year growth of 9.58%.
In recent years, rapid growth has been made in high-end medical devices industry with the support of the national policies and the efforts of enterprises. In particular, domestic imaging diagnostic equipment has gradually substituted the export ones. Individual products, such as ultrasound and monitoring equipment, are also emerging in the international market.
However, in the field of large equipment such as CT and MRI, we still fall behind the developed countries in the technical level and comprehensive performance of high-end products due to the long-term monopoly of global markets by multinational companies. Besides, we lack long-term clinical application of such equipment, have relatively low recognition in international market and pose weak stand in the export, therefore, we still have a long way to go in the road of internationalization.
With the continuous upgrading of the industrial structure and the development of medical devices towards customization and high value-added, the development of new technologies such as early screening technology, AI, 3D printing, and medical robots is bound to revolutionize the medical market.

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