Driven by Multiple Factors, China’s Medical Devices Sector to Soar

GMR Data forecasts that China’s medical devices market will reach $218.2 billion in 2030, up from $92.8 billion in 2020, as Chinese pharmaceutical markets continue their growth trajectory.

As outlined in our MarketResearch.com blog post last year, a “mix of factors is expected to drive the pharmaceutical market in China.” According to our analysis, the Chinese pharmaceutical sector as a whole is set for substantial growth across the next decade, driven by factors such as:

  • An expanding more affluent population
  • Closer regulatory harmonisation and foreign market entrance
  • An increasing over-65 demographic — Chinese governmental estimates forecast that 40% of China’s population will be over 65 by 2030, up from 6.9% in 2000
  • WHO figures detail that almost 1 in 3 diabetics globally live in China
  • The incidence of cancer is now at 4 million new detections per year

We view that all these factors will drive revenues for Chinese medical device manufacturers.

Impact of COVID-19 on the Chinese Medical Device Industry

What we have witnessed in the past 18 months, with COVID, is an increase in spending across the medical devices sector both in terms of products purchased, an increase in research and development, and expansions of manufacturing plants.

Many factors have driven the China medical devices market in 2020; something as ubiquitous as social distancing as encouraged by the WHO, has driven many sectors, not least wearables and telemedicine. For example, patients are more comfortable video calling healthcare professionals — a practice that is becoming more affordable. According to Nikkei Asia in China “Rates depend on the doctor, but a 15-minute video appointment usually costs around 50 yuan ($7.80).”

Enabling Regulatory Framework

China’s medical devices market was typically characterised as the “low-cost” producer of “low-end” medical devices whilst typically importing “high-end” medical devices. However, over the last decade, due to government intent and a more enabling regulatory framework, many local Chinese medical devices companies are venturing into and supplying locally manufactured “high-end” medical devices.

The feeling amongst representatives that we interviewed, as part of our research for our report The China Medical Devices Market to 2030, outlined an increasing willingness to take on the barriers and restraints in the sector — such as an often-challenging regulatory arena, often different reimbursement policies for domestic and foreign Medtech companies and an at times fragmented marketplace.

Key Sub-Markets for Medical Devices in China

To get a hold of the sector and allow us to show growth patterns more clearly, we detailed the key sub-markets in the China medical devices market as below:

  • Diagnostic medical devices — a market set to grow at a CAGR of 9.9% to 2030
  • Therapeutic medical devices — forecast to reach annual revenues of $32.7 billion across 2030
  • Consumables — Strong growth witnessed, driven by COVID
  • Implants — Revenue for this key sub-market reached $22.4 billion in 2020

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