Doing Business in China

The Biotech and Medical Sectors in China (Part 2 of 2)

Written by Bobby Jan for Gaebler Ventures

Looking for good business opportunities in China? Some of the greatest opportunities for entrepreneurs are in the biotech and medical sector. This article discusses biotech research and development and how demanding Chinese consumers are driving demand.

If you are interested in business opportunities in China, keep your eye on the biotech and medical sectors.

Biotech Research and Development in China

China is an attractive place for biotech research and development for many foreign companies.

There two advantages for establishing a R&D center in China: 1) the relatively lax regulatory environment and 2) cheap, high skilled labor.

Regarding lax regulations, for example, patient consent requirements are less stringently enforced and animal research is less regulated. Unlike many Western countries, animal rights are not a big concern in China, so there will be less harassment of your research in China than, say, in England. China is also becoming one of the leading centers for embryonic and stem cell research since it is both legal and uncontroversial in China.

Highly skilled labor in China can also be employed for less. One study shows that Chinese scientists who received training in the West can be hired in China for 30% less in China than in the West. This difference in pay is probably due to the much lower cost of living in China than in the West.

Although companies can save on labor, importing expensive machinery and research supplies to China adds another layer of expense. There are also other expenses related to setting up a R&D center in China, including navigating regulatory requirements in a foreign country.

Hiring scientists and technicians who are not trained in the West also creates another set of problems. Many scientists and technicians in older generations may not be adequately trained in scientific research and inquiry. However, many executives agree that younger generations of Chinese scientists and technicians are much better trained.

Entrepreneurs should carefully consider the benefits and fully understand and explore the hidden costs of setting up a R&D center in China.

Demanding Customers

Chinese patients are known to be very demanding. It is not uncommon for unsatisfied patients and their families who find it difficult to sue to take out their frustration by attacking doctors. Others are quick to bring the matter to court or publicize an allegation of malpractice.

Inefficiently run health providers are a huge source of frustration for the Chinese. Demanding Chinese health care consumers are putting pressure on domestic health care providers to improve and improve quickly. Many health providers are ill equipped to meet new demands.

This situation creates many opportunities for entrepreneurs to step in and profit from helping to improve medical treatment in China.

Cheng Ming (Bobby) Jan is an Economics major at the University of Chicago who has a strong interest in entrepreneurship and investing.

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