Medical, Pharmacy, Health Care : Marketing Best Practices in China

Health Market in China will reach $2.2 Trillion in 2020

 Constant economy growth and well-being improvement in China has raise its citizens’ awareness around health-care new stakes and purchasing strengths. Health issues are even more evoked in 2017 because of tight schedules, pressures on work and sometimes on social interactions, from growing needs for OTC Medecines like sleep aids or antibacterial remedies could help Chinese people to bear their heavy modern lifestyles where time is priceless. Other rise involve regular activities related to sports and fitness in which nutritious and healthy products are more coveted since Chinese sports institutions made some partnerships with international brands.

What is the digital impact in health sectors innovations ?

Health Market in China

Many reports, including the Consulting firms predicts that Chinese market will more or less exceed the 1 Trillion $ while Chinese government specialists are even more fierce in their forecasts : health care sector has high chances, considering its unprecedented fast pace development, to weigh 1.4 to 1.5 trillion $ by the end of this decade. By now, investment in digital health sectors has contributed to top more than 1.6 billion at the end of 2016. Few elements that are driving the growth of Chinese digital health are quite similar to U.S recent reforms and investment.

The Pharmacy Medical, Pharmacy, Health Care market in China is booming with 350 million middle class consumers dramatically changing expectations and values when it comes to healthcare. Private healthcare has become a necessity for discerning Chinese that highly value this most important aspect of life.

Health care status mapping

Two main reasons behind the ever-growing spending Chinese consumers consent in healthcare products and services. With incomes increasing gradually over the years, they tend to demand more about the latest in medical treatment and services. In the same way, caring about a proper evolution of a balanced body and environmental issues has definitely convinced them on purchasing more, investing for a long life and a better future. Opportunities are created for hospitals, pharmaceutical companies and medical device related to new Tech. State-owned enterprise and deregulation of exchanges policies, two key points  previously considered as half banned due to government ironclad rules, are currently driving China’s digital  health realm development.

There’s a real interest for the Chinese government to make the health market in Chinam more accessible for private investments and foreign capital. As Chinese consumers infer that their local medicine not really trustworthy, due to few scandals on norms and utilization, so that they occasionally buy during travels or business trips abroad. Overseas investors and companies have the legitimacy and rights to enter in China’s healthcare industry, establishing close partnerships with public institutions and invest in promising healthcare systems such as Augmented Reality for Education, Internet of Things known as “smart devices”, Cognitive Computers and so on.

Private insurance is a good alternative in China

The Chinese government’s initiative of decreasing the regulatory barriers and tax incentives that quenched potential newcomers has been saluted by many international non-governmental organizations.  Private insurance has made up for the lack of contentment encountered by consumers in public insurance plans, as merely more than 52 percent of Chinese people recently surveyed, from middle and upper class, shows some signs of satisfaction.

This is a windfall for private insurance sector. Even though it’s still oriented to have a supportive role for public plans and major projects dealing with large scale illnesses, private insurance companies made their way by distinguishing their products from the public ones, emphasizing on Tech new trends related to trends. More close cooperation with public and private hospitals means a wider range of products, services, and at last new access solutions. As it’s not really believable that healthcare institutions still communicates with paper and traditional methods including a feeble rate of less than 10% of hospitals worldwide and 14% in China.. These figures display the lack of a more digitalised communication considering only a minority of hospitals have been able to exchange records through their digital systems.

Opportunities for Businesses  in the Health Market in China

The current situation shouldn’t’ be considered as a drawback as long as the private insurance sector, in almost every country, is still in the first steps of a  technology oriented disruption. That’s a tremendous challenge for the whole healthcare sector but also an inestimable opportunity to enhance innovation to meet patients’ needs and  the individualization of care.

Although seeing a doctor may be faster in China comparing to U.S, same for appointment if patients are willing to pay a “special care” price to save time and go ahead to have the treatment as soon as possible. This privilege especially apply for complex treatments requiring more patience and time for an appointment ticket that could last for an undetermined period.

Opportunites for Startup in Health Care Medical, Pharmacy in China

App in the Health Care Market in China  !

More than 2000 mobile apps for healthcare has been launched, from simple medical advice to appointment booking, hoping in the middle-run tailored digital services will release some pressure for overcrowded hospitals. Not only there’s still a shortage in resources, the distribution of equipment and beds is not efficiently organized to optimize time management for treatment and cure priorities. In recent years, an uncontrolled expansion of public hospitals has resulted in their oversize, some currently exceeding 10,000 hospital beds, whereas the development of starter medical institutions could be jeopardized. Measures has been taken by the Government to curb this contrasted expansion, with ambitious objectives and forecasts.

Number of hospital beds for every 1,000 people
Public hospitals Private hospitals
Current By 2020 Current By 2020
4.55 6 0.52 1.5

New medicine for Tech oriented consumers : medical Apps

As an answer to these issues, more than 2000 mobile apps for healthcare has been launched, from simple medical advice to appointment booking, hoping in the middle-run tailored digital services will release some pressure for overcrowded hospitals. Digital health is basically the alchemy between healthcare and technology, a new actor has properly prepared his entrance on stage : Ping An Good Doctor.

It claims more than 27 million active monthly users and 75 million registered. Ping An received exclusive permission from the government to hold partnerships with outside companies willing to invest in domestic private insurers with an ironclad condition of non-exceeding 50% of their stake. It works in both ways, Ping An has the privilege to invest in U.S. digital health companies, targeting their cutting edge products while overseas competition is allowed with Chinese health companies. Widening its offers and services is another option like telemedicine or broadcast videos.

MedTech : Technology in the Health market in China

Aware of hospitals’ technology development U.S. searchers and start-ups put their effort on it, Chinese Internet giants such as Alibaba, Tencent have made their move in the chess board. New roles are attributed, investors and players, to regulate the healthcare sector and then remedy to current medical issues or scandals that reinforced distrust and misjudgment. Search engine has flaws as Baidu is not as well handled, functionally and conditionally speaking, as Google. As a result, its flagship app Baidu Doctor has been forced to close due to funding problems.

E-Doctor Consultating , Elearning Business, Automedication

Deficiencies of online services shown, great occasion has come. Preventing more companies to fail, We Doctor, a medical app launched by Tencent’s Wechat, offered more vertical services comparing to Good Doctor, relying on advertising’s strengths and impact. With an educational rigor, it enables to connect patients to doctors and appointments bookings, emphasizing this feeling “It’s way more convenient than booking and visiting an overcrowded hospital.” A fact in which Alibaba Health Information Technology intends to bring some improvements in expanding health insurance services, a fresh reminder of the unprecedented challenges this industry has ever faced.

Baby Boom aftermath : continuous rise of Seniors

800 million  represents Chinese consumers who use frequently their mobile phones for apps. A stronghold largely taken by young generation called “Millenials” in a hyper-connected society. From 18 to 37 years old, more than 90% have access to internet in the country while older people are not connected at the same scale.

That displays the major predicament the country has to palliate in the next years. Adjusted strategy, reducing the gap in resources distribution and regulating the aging process are the main issues at stake. People above 65 will probably represents 20% of the whole population, greatly due to the reduce of birth rate engaged few decades ago. Deterrent solutions in cities like Guangzhou or Shanghai consists in reducing the credit rating for the young adults who fail to respect their social work like paying some visits in hospitals.

In China, Doctors are Digitalized

More doctors are needed to warranty a credible support to Chinese citizens in need with a feeble ratio of average 1.5 doctors for 1000 people. More local medicine students are keener on going abroad because of current regulations and better framework. A new challenge for the education sector, especially universities, consists in making Chinese medicine practices more valuable and less down to earth.

Meanwhile, providing same solutions to every part of the whole population may seem unrealistic but not impossible. Concierge and telemedecine services, tailored information, more reactivity are the further concern to rebuild a new “Trust Act Agreement”. U.S healthcare current system is quite working, Chinese institutions and medical experts have to drive their focus more on digital advancement, offline and online activities and less mystery.

Medical Tourism in China

It is Very popular for wealthy Chinese to have Medical treatment outside of China. Most of Chinese People are not satisfed with the Treatment they may receive in China, and do not trust in Chinese Doctors, Chinese Hospitals.

They use to book Clinics in the US, In Japan, in Switzerland or Isreal to receive the best Medical services.

Digital : the Key to Enter into the Health Market in China ?

Internet dominate the Health Market in China, and is the priority if you want to Enter these Health, Medical and Pharmacy Markets. Businesses in China have to grow their awarness and ereputation as well as their product range and identify  health benefits For Chinese Patients & Clients.

Digital Strategy is also the most effective solution offering ROI (Return On Investment)

Your Fondation : Online Support, Content and Reputation

1- Website in Chinese/ Mobile App localized for China

Everybody understand that Brands, and Health Company have start with a Chinese Website ( In Simplifed Chinese). POsitionning of this Website is important and Chinese patient & Clients Use to double check Official Website before any purchase.

Picture , Content Video are Vital to give a Good Impression.

Chinese Consumers like nice Content and like to read explaination, testimonial of Doctors, and Explanation when it matter to health.

APP , to have an Mobile Application can also be a good stategy, because many Companies use to Engage their CLients Patient / customers via Mobile.

It is a good support, and quite hard to Promote in China;

2- Ereputation : the Key in China

Trust is the Key of Business in China

What Chinese Patient Buy ? Trustful Company, Trustfull Solution.

They will check Forums, Questions & Answers Portals, Discussion on Social Media, Media . They are scared of Scam, cheating Companies.

Problem :  Chinese healthcare Businesses have cheated Chinese Patients, often with disastrous effects.

The Baidu Gate

Baidu Hopital Scandal; There was a huge scandal in China in 2016. The Baidu Gate.

Patients in China were searching for cancer Deseases treaments, and Found Scammer ( advertised by a Chinese Search Engine Baidu)

After this scandal have really clamped down on health industry.

Source NYT 

Chinese regulators have imposed limits on the number of lucrative healthcare adverts carried by Baidu Inc (BIDU.O) following the death of a student who underwent an experimental cancer treatment which he found using China’s biggest Internet search engine

Solution to improve your E-Reputation in China ?

It is vital for any Medical, Pharmacy and Health Business to invest in your reputation and build Trust between Chinese Patient and your Company. We Help Health Businesses with Forums Marketing, Question & Answers Communication, PR (public Relation or Press Relation)

3- Visibility & Awarness in China

To get visibility is usually the next Step for your Business Development

Search Engine Strategy is Vital in China, because it is only when you have health problem that you are interest in Healthcare Products, Medical Treatment and Pharmaceutical Brands.

30% of the Total search on Baidu Is related to Medical Keywords

SEO : Search Engine Optimization. It is on Baidu. We are specialized in Getting Results, Position and traffic for our clients.

MEdical Keywords are the most difficult keywords in China.

SEM: It is the Pay Per Click  the SEA(search Engine Advertising). It is usually quite expensive and not allowed for Foreign Companies in China , without Chinese business License.

4- Social Media : How to Engage Chinese Patients / Consumers?

Wechat First Weibo Second, other APP social networks Third.

Patient engagement in China is a healthcare Marketing strategy that strives to improve Business outcomes, encourage better healthcare achievement at lower costs. It is an effective concept combining Chinese patient sensibilisation and  promotion . Chinese consumers want to be engaged in their Health decision making process


It is the most used Social Networks in China. WeChat has about 900 million active monthly users with the average user spending 2.5 hours per day . Businesses evidently have to develop a strong presence on the Number one Chinese APP.

How to Maximize your Wechat marketing ?

  1. Create Wechat Account
  2. Optimize your Wechat account
  3. Create Push : Create Good content, mix between Newsletter and Blog Posts.
  4. Promotion: Promote this content on Wechat via Group Shares, influencers, and Wechat advertising.

About Wechat Marketing


Weibo  is the second Most used Social Media in China. Mix between twitter and Facebook, weibo allow Brand Communication with short message & Pictures.

how to Maximize your Weibo Marketing ?

  1. Create Weibo Channel
  2. Create Conten: Create attractive content
  3. Promotion: Promote this content on Weibo via Event, Advertising, and KOL (key opinion leaders)
  4. Manage your community : reply to questions, interact with your database of followers, and other weibo accounts.

About Weibo.

5- Media : Public Relation

Every HealthCare Company have to use Media to Communicate in China. Corporate news publish on Chinese Media bring trust and credibility to Health instutution.

We use to know most Popular Heath News & eMagazine, and have contacts with Many Journalists. Brands, instututions, Hospital have to provide press release, report and we help the to publish it to the Chinese eMedia.

  • sohu health
  • Health 360,
  • News168

Chinese mainly read eNews, emedia in medical.

6- Influencers Campaign

In China , like everywher in this world , Influencers (or KOL key opinion Leaders) can be a great help to get credibility of influential People and expert.

It is a Commun strategy to have a Engagement strategy among this group of Influencers.

how to Create Great Influencers Campaign ?

  1. Identify the Top Influencers,
  2. Create Great Support, interesting Material
  3. Contact them
  4. Get your publication
  5. Re use their testimonial in your social Media strategy, PR and on your Website.

7- E-Commerce in China First

Jingdong or is the most trustful e-Commerce plateform in China, and the number one place to find real PRoducts. We usually advice our client in the Medical field to integrate this Plateform.

how to sell on JD?

  1. Get credibility awarness first
  2. Aply to the plateform
  3. Get approval and Build your JD store
  4. Manage your store
  5. Advertise on the plateform
  6. Manage Customer services
  7. Sell and Optimize your results via Jd Ads and Special Event

Tmall or Tmall Global

Tmall is the leading E-Commerce plateform in China. It is a really a great plateform for Leading Brands and leading Players

How to sell on Tmall / taobao?

  1. Have a strong Branding & Ereputation
  2. Aply to the plateform
  3. Negociate and get the Alibaba approval
  4. Build your Tmall store
  5. Manage your store, create Products page
  6. Invest in Advertisment
  7. Set up a great Customer Services, via Chat.
  8. Develop and Optimize your results via tmall Ads and Special Event


You can also develop a Wechat Store. It is a cheaper solution and easy to setup. It will be visible only on Wechat for your Community. It is a good way for small players to start to sell in China.

Selling on Your Website?

no it is usually a Bad idea to sell on your Website, because 99.9% of Chinese buy only on famous E-Commerce plateform. It is easier, safer and they can return the products if they do not like.

They have choice, and it is an habbit now to search on Taobao, JD or other Chinese Mobile App like Kaola to find products.

If you need Lead generation, your website is Necessary

Healthcare Innovative Marketing Strategy

  • We also provide innovative Solution, or Top advance strategy to our clients.
  1. You are a Healtcare Company that want to Enter the Chinese Market ?
  2. You are a Medical PLayer and want to boost your Business in China ?
  3. You are a Medical Business (Hospital, Clinic … ) and want to attract Chinese Pateient.

We are an experienced agency in Health , healthcare & Pharmaceutical Products, and medical Solution

  • I Invite your to have a look on our Case Study, our Agency Website.
  • You can book a Meeting with our Consultant to have a better overview and how we can help you to Develop your Marketing in China.