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The Medical Device Market:China

Opportunities and Challenges

May 9th 2012


£620 / $1085 / €775

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China has the world’s largest population. In 2008, it was officially estimated at 1,328.0 million. The province of Guangdong, in south-central China, had the largest population, with 95.4 million, equal to 5.7% of the total. Eastern China was the most populated region of the country, inhabited by 382.4 million people in 2008. The area includes Shanghai, China’s largest city, with a population of 18.9 million.

In 2009, the Chinese government committed 850 billion yuan (US$124 billion) to develop the country’s healthcare system over a three-year period. The plan is to create a solid platform for universal healthcare access for all by 2020. The Chinese government expanded the health insurance programme to cover all rural residents by the end of 2008. Urban health insurance was already well established, covering nearly all working citizens, and the government plans to cover all urban dwellers, including the unemployed and children who were not covered previously.

The prospects for medical device spending is huge; the government has committed heavily in the construction of thousands of hospitals, healthcare centres, clinics and this will inevitably lead to spending on capital goods, most notably medical devices, equipment and furniture at an unprecedented rate in a relatively short space of time.

Priority has been given to the construction and renovation of around 2,000 county level-hospitals, so that each county will have at least one such facility. County-level hospitals are usually the best equipped hospitals in the country and must have at least 250 beds. The central government will fund the construction of 29,000 township hospitals, and the upgrading of another 5,000, according to the plan. The government has also allocated funds for the construction of village clinics in remote areas so that every village will have at least one unit by the end of the three-year period.

Since opening its economy to the West in the late 1970s, China has experienced rapid growth. For 2011, China’s GDP is estimated at US$6,898.0 billion. While this makes China one of the world’s largest economies, the sheer size of the population means that per capita wealth is relatively low, at around US$5,226 in 2011.

For 2011, Espicom estimates market growth to be in the region of 13.1%; one of the fastest growing markets in the world. High rates of growth are not uncommon in the Asian region, but on the back of a huge market size, China’s growth is particularly pronounced.

Latest annual data to December 2011 show that imports have grown very strongly during the period, rising by 26.6% to reach US$8,552.1 million. All product categories posted strong growth during the period, with consumables leading the way with a rise of 30.4% over the previous year. All other categories achieved over twenty-percent rises during the period except for orthopaedic products, which still achieved an impressive 14.4% rise over 2010.

Includes 3 quarterly updated outlook reports!

Please note: Report sections are periodically updated and some sections may have been updated more recently than the publication date given for the full report.

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More Information...


  • Key national data projections
  • Current market size
  • Unique 5-year market projections
  • Market outlook
  • Market structure; Including statistical data on imports and exports;
  • Market access; Including distribution and medical device regulation;
  • Healthcare analysis; Including demographics, healthcare system, health expenditure, healthcare infrastructure and personnel

HEALTHCARE DATA: A comprehensive tabula review of the market, including economic indicators, demographics, health expenditure, hospital and primary care data, and healthcare personnel.

DISTRIBUTORS: Details of the medical equipment distributors held in Espicom’s database at the time of publication.