Medical-device makers anticipate China boom

By Gayle S. Putrich
Staff Reporter

Published: May 27, 2013 10:13 am ET
Updated: May 27, 2013 10:21 am ET

Image By: Plastics News photo by David M. Barron/oxygengroup Michael Corkran, founder and CEO of China Centric Associates, at the Plastics in Medical Devices conference

Related to this story

Topics Medical, Reshoring, China

WALTHAM, MASS. — China remains one of the hottest topics among medical-device manufacturers and their entire supply chain, both as a potential market and a possible competitor.

At the Plastics in Medical Devices conference, held May 13-15 in Waltham, outside Boston, Michael Corkran, founder and CEO of Beachwood, Ohio-based China Centric Associates, offered advice and perspective on doing business in the world's largest emerging market. China Centric is a consulting firm that helps companies develop and execute ventures in China.

China, which operates on predetermined five-year economic plans, has already made improving the quality of and access to health care one of the country's top two priorities in its 2011-15 plan. Corkran said he expects health care to be the top priority in the economic plan that begins in 2016, as development continues to move inland from China's coast. Private, for-profit hospitals are also a major growth market in China, Corkran said, with more than 2,000 opening in the last few years, mostly in large cities.

With China focused on developing a consumer, demand-based economy in an effort to be less dependent on imports, the door is open for U.S. and other companies to go east and jump into the local market, he said, but to do business there, foreigners must have a local presence and Chinese partners. "And culturally, building the relationship is very, very important there," he said.

Corkran advises medical-device makers to enter China with a combination of opportunistic selling — responding to customer demand and signing on with local distributors — and a strategic market development plan, but most importantly, an open mind.

"The single-biggest mistake I see is attempting to transfer Western business practices to China and expecting them to work," he said. "Only in last 15 years has China been engaged in Western business practices with any real traction."

While operating from a deficit compared with Western competitors, particularly in dealing with intellectual property concepts — China established its first patent office in 1980 — China is catching up quickly.

"Two-thirds of what U.S. businesses complain about as 'piracy,' isn't," Corkran said. "If you had a good idea and chose not to protect it, it's on you. But they are working very aggressively to introduce Westernlike IP laws in China. They want protection of their own intellectual property. … They know they're not where the West is. It takes a lot to overcome 2,000 years of IP inertia."


Comments

Medical-device makers anticipate China boom

By Gayle S. Putrich
Staff Reporter

Published: May 27, 2013 10:13 am ET
Updated: May 27, 2013 10:21 am ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story


More stories

Image

New medical firm buys Clairson Plastics

September 19, 2014 4:33 pm ET

Custom injection molder Clairson Plastics is being sold to a new start-up that plans to dive into the medical market with a new dialyzer, a key...    More

Image

Dunkin' Donuts looking at PP to replace foam cups

September 19, 2014 3:22 pm ET

Dunkin' Donuts is testing a new polypropylene coffee cup that the company believes could help boost recycling.    More

Image

Hong Kong's TK eyes expansion, may buy Nypro Tool operation

September 19, 2014 2:49 pm ET

Hong Kong-based mold maker and plastics processor TK Group (Holdings) Ltd. said it's reached a tentative agreement to buy a tooling factory in...    More

Image

3-D printing specialist aims at better materials, faster equipment

September 19, 2014 2:07 pm ET

An exception in the crowded field of boutique vendors and agents at this year's AsiaMold show was Changsha-based Hunan Farsoon Hi-tech Co. Ltd.,...    More

Image

Foster building medical polymers plant

September 19, 2014 1:39 pm ET

Foster Delivery Science is investing $8 million in a new plant in Putnam, Conn., for production of medical polymer blends, as well as rods, film or fi...    More

Market Reports

Plastics Caps & Closures Market Report

The annual recap of top trends and future outlook for the plastics caps & closures market features interviews with industry thought leaders and Bill Wood’s economic forecast of trends in growing end markets. You will also gain insight on trends in caps design, materials, machinery, molds & tooling and reviews of mergers & acquisitions.

Learn more

Shale Gas Market - Analysis of North American Region

This report highlights the impact of shale-based natural gas on the North American plastics market and features an in-depth analysis of production trends in the United States during 2013 and a forecast for 2014 and beyond.

Learn more

Thermoformed Packaging 2014 Market Review & Outlook – North America

This in-depth report analyzes economic and market trends, legislative/regulatory activity impacting supply and demand, business opportunities and threats, materials pricing, manufacturing technology, as well as growth strategies being implemented by thermoformed packaging companies.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

January 14, 2015 - January 14, 2015Plastics in Automotive

February 4, 2015 - February 6, 2015Plastics News Executive Forum 2015

More Events