Pharmacy and Healthcare Market in China : Export Guide

The healthcare industry is under the spotlight in china. Pollution problems and multiple scandals concerning the quality of the local products encouraged chinese people to be more careful.

China is changing, more and more people are concerned about their health. The reducing of the closure of China towards the world creates new visions for Chinese people. Now, they have a better access to information, their economic system is growing, they travel more and very far, all these things open their mind and change their habits and expectations.
More information means more searches and the developing of a health issues consciousness. It’s time for healthcare, medical and pharma brands to develop their presence in China, because foreign brands are very popular in China. It’s for you a good opportunity.

According to my experience of the healthcare market in China, we can see for few years that the demand for foreign healthcare products is increasing. The Health Market in China should reach around $2.2 Trillion in 2020. The China’s health care sector is developing at an incredible rate: spending is projected to grow from $357 billion in 2011 to $1 trillion in 2020. All the products are coveted, from pharmaceuticals to medical products for consumer health, China remains among the world’s most attractive markets, and by far the fastest-growing of all the large emerging ones.

It is not surprising that multinationals are flocking to take advantage of the opportunities. But long-term success is certainly not guaranteed on this complex market. The overall outlook for China’s health-care market is optimistic, however, multinationals will find it harder to compete with a more distinct separation between success stories and failed attempts to crack this lucrative market. Late entrants still may struggle so now it’s time for you to invest.

Contents

THE HEALTHCARE MARKET IN CHINA IS BOOMING

The healthcare 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.

Healthcare products are in vogue in China and especially ‘international’ products. The foreign offerings in this industry are often associated as a byword for quality. And when it comes to healthcare this quality is absolutely key.

The Strategic Guide for Top Manager in HealthCare Industry

Healthcare in China

AN INCREASE OF THE WEALTH WHO ENCOURAGES CHINESE PEOPLE TO SPEND MONEY IN QUALITY HEALTH PRODUCTS

Chinese customers can now pay more for healthcare with GDP still growing by 7% year on year and average levels of wealth amongst the wealthiest 350 million consumers growing by 10% per annum. These figures indicate there will be no slow down in this market as the Chinese avidly embrace international health products in new and interesting ways. Indeed Vice Premier Li Keqiang himself said the health-care industry has now entered “uncharted waters.”

More and more Chinese families are beginning to care about the safety and quality of their products, and they are likely to spend more to ensure good quality in the healhcare Market in China.

A NEW LIFESTYLE WHICH REQUIRES NEW HEALTH SOLUTIONS

Constant economy growth and well-being improvement in China has raised its citizens’ awareness around health care new stakes. 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 Medicines like sleep aids or antibacterial remedies could help Chinese people to bear their heavy modern lifestyles where time is priceless.

UNDERSTAND THE ISSUES OF CHINESE HEALTHCARE

AIR & WATER POLLUTION

I think I teach you nothing… China is a very polluted country. Some area suffers more than the others of the pollution.

That’s why, pollution is becoming one of the most important criteria in the mentality change.

The air pollution in China is really considered as a health crisis. Air pollution in China is responsible of 50 000 and 500 000 deads prematured each year of Chinese citizens. Chinese people try to reduce pollution by using electric cars and more eco-friendly machine. To protect themselves, they wear masks, but it’s not enough. They want a safe health lifestyle. They no longer want to live in a polluted environment.

In addition, in China, water is also contaminated with metals due to industrialization. Government tried to take measures to reduce the water pollution, but, even if you don’t drink the water, you need to use it for a lot of other things: take a shower, brushed your teeth, clean your dishes…

Healthcare in China

OBESITY

With the increase of financial resources, we observed the appearance of overweight issues. Obesity in China is becoming a real issue. The percent of overweight or obese children has skyrocketed from 5 to 20 percent.

Because Chinese parents have only one child, they give all he wants to this only child. More wealth means a best purchase power, so they buy all the child asks.

But now, they understand that there is an obesity issue.
Families want to reduce the obesity by investing their money in health products. They feel more concerned than before.

 OLD PEOPLE HEALTHCARE

With the one-child policy in China, the number of old people increased. There are more and more old people and less young people. Government help the old people to take care of their healthcare by encourage them to consume vitamins, health products and to choose a western medicine practices. Most of these practices are covered by health insurances.

I gave you some points which can show you why health market is an opportunity for foreign health companies, but it’s not a full list. The health & wellness market is increasing. It’s the moment for you to take the opportunity that the health Chinese market offers you.

Health & pharmacy in China

THE HEALTHCARE MARKET IN CHINA: A NEW OPPORTUNITY FOR FOREIGN COMPANIES

If the Chinese Traditional Medicine (CTM) is reputated all over the world as an effective and natural practice, in China, we observe a decline of the interest for this practice. Chinese Traditional Medicine is viewed by Chinese people as a less effective practice than western medicine. Western medicine is considered as an effective and strong quality medicine.

Health China

NEW REQUIREMENTS OF HEALTHCARE PRODUCTS WHICH FOREIGN COMPANIES CAN ANSWER

The spend in healthcare products and services that the Chinese consumers consent to spend are ever-growing.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. New opportunities are created for hospitals, pharmaceutical companies and medical device related to new tech.

State-owned enterprise and deregulation of exchanges policies are two key points previously considered as banned due to government ironclad rules are currently driving China’s digital health realm development.

CHINESE GOVERNMENT ENCOURAGE CHINESES TO FALL BACK ON WESTERN MEDICINE

There’s a real interest for the Chinese government to make the health market in China 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.

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.

HealthCare in China

OPPORTUNITIES FOR BUSINESSES IN HEALTHCARE MEDICAL AND PHARMACY 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 are not efficiently organized to optimize time management for treatment 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 have been taken by the Government to curb this contrasted expansion.

INNOVATION IS THE OPPORTUNITY FOR FOREIGN BUSINESSES

The Chinese market is more focused on expectations and demand than on the innovations that major pharmaceutical groups can bring to the market, especially in terms of medicines for the most common diseases.

However, existing innovations in the marketplace are only copied by the Chinese players involved. The actors do not have the necessary R & D to develop their own products and only seek to improve the products already marketed.

To compensate for this, many local groups are seeking partnerships with foreign pharmaceutical companies to develop unique and innovative pharmaceutical products. This solution allows for a win-win situation because it reduces the constraint faced by foreign companies when entering the Chinese market is the duration of the drug approval processes on the market, which may take more than 5 years.

BIOPHARMACEUTICAL PRODUCTS ARE MORE AND MORE POPULAR IN CHINA

Biopharmacie is more and more popular in China, because it’s only a foreign therapy. It’s your differentiation criteria on this market.

In a market where the unequal environment of populations is visible offer therapies that a large population can afford is a most suitable solution.

HealthCare in China

HOW TO MARKET YOUR FOREIGN HEALTH BRAND IN CHINA

DIGITAL IN CHINA IS THE ANSWER

Digital in China is the answer with over 900 million Chinese connected online what you have is the world’s largest, yet closed online system. Chinese platforms dominate and must be utilized by save healthcare companies to grow their visibility and reputation as well as their product range and associated health benefits. Digital marketing is also the most cost-effective method offering substantial Return on Investment.

BE DIGITAL

THE KEY OF SUCCESS:

ONLINE SUPPORT + QUALITY CONTENT
+ E-REPUTATION

A QUALITY HEALTHCARE WEBSITE IN MANDARIN

First of all, you have to create a Chinese Website (In Simplified Chinese). Your website also needs to be hosted in China to be visible on Baidu. Before any purchase and consulting demand, Chinese patients will search on Baidu information about your company. In a sector like healthcare, transparency is the most important criteria for consumers.

Pictures, content, videos are vital to give a good impression in the Healthcare in China.

Chinese consumers like quality content, read explanations and doctors’ testimonies, when it matter to health.

Have a Mobile Application can also be a good strategy, many health companies use it to engage their clients/patient via the mobile.

THERE IS A BIG PROBLEM OF TRUST IN CHINA

Many locals, Chinese healthcare companies have cheated Chinese consumers, often with disastrous effects.  There was a huge case in China where an individual was searching for cancer-related care yet found inaccurate and wrong procedure information advertised by a Chinese company on Baidu. After this Baidu have really clamped down on healthcare product quality offered via the platform, particularly in the paid results. That explains why Chinese consumers are very careful.

It is more important than ever therefore to establish a strong e-reputation and reinforce the trust. In the health care sector this is a real problem and quality must be improved in terms of product offering and instilling that reputation in the minds of consumers. There was a strong backlash against local companies (after the aforementioned incident on Baidu) with international healthcare now leading the way for those able to afford it.

IN CHINA YOUR E-REPUTATION IS EVERYTHING

When it comes to healthcare the Chinese research more extensively than in any other sector. It is therefore vital to develop your e-reputation on forums, in the e-media and on Baidu’s related platforms in order to instill trust, respect and build a quality, loyal customer base.

There are a host of dedicated healthcare forums where consumers visit for advice and to discuss product recommendations. Here you need to create a positive sentiment that is from user to users, not just from your company itself. Chinese testimonials, references and topics linked with recommendations are all vital. You also need to manage any potential negative comments or posts about the product from aggressive, local competitors.

Working on forum community management is a great way to boost your reputation and also rank highly in Baidu’s search results as these forums are highly ranked themselves, related content will thus appear on relevant keyword searches.

In China it is vital for any medical, Pharmacy and Health Business to invest in an e-reputation and build trust between Chinese patient and your company. We help Health Businesses with the Forums Marketing, PR (Public Relation or Press Relation).

HOW TO ENGAGE CHINESE PATIENTS ON MEDIA?

In China, you need to coverage media. Even if you are a health company and think it’s not useful for you. Because you are wrong, in China, be present on media is mandatory. You need to develop quality public relation to achieve this coverage.

Content needs to be specific and adapted to the Chinese market linguistically. Direct translation into Mandarin Chinese does not work.

Media exposure for health brands also needs to be targeted at the right communities. E-news sites such as sohu.com, 360, Tieba and News168 all have threads devoted to health care and livelihood.

Besides, having a good public relation content featured is also beneficial for your ranking on Baidu.

In China, it’s important that people talk about you. It creates traffic and generate more visibility and interest.

COMMUNITY MANAGEMENT: TAKE CARE OF WORD OF MOUTH

In China content going viral among targeted communities is highly possible because users are highly engaged and also simply because of the size of the Chinese internet. You need to take care of users interactions. Community feedbacks also need to be monitored and accessed. There is no point engaging in intelligent marketing if you do not filter the content about your brand.

Focusing on forums, social media, Baidu visibility and PR all together is the right combination for building a community around your health brand and using this as a launch pad for sales. Visibility and reputation in China are everything.

MEDICAL APPS FOR TECH ORIENTED CONSUMERS

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. 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 with an ironclad condition of non-exceeding 50% of their stake.

ONLINE APPOINTMENT BOOKING

We doctor, a medical app launched by Tencent’s Wechat, offered more vertical services compared 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.

E-MEDICINE

Chinese people when they are sick try first to find information on internet to solve their problem. It’s one of the consequences of a very connected country.

If you are a doctor and are able to set up an online diagnosis to your consumers, you will be more attractive than your competitors.

Chinese consumers, as I explained before, are trapped in a fast-working environment, time is becoming a problem in a society where each minute count.

Online medicine is the perfect solution for them. They don’t need anymore to wait hours in a crowded hospital, trying to be patient.

You can provide your diagnosis online. You also can set up a chatbot to speak with your patients. The patient may explain his issue and through the chatbot you or a robot can answer and advice medical solution to the patient.

If you are able to do that you will be quickly popular and will evict your competitors, because for now, few companies offer that medical solution.

If you can provide good advices and answers to specific question, you will become quickly the number one of these markets. You need to show to your online patients that you know what you are talking about. Trust in China, more than in the other countries is a very important criteria, due to all the scandals, they no longer trust companies.

HOW TO ENGAGE CHINESE PATIENTS WITH SOCIAL MEDIA

China is a country addicted to social media platforms. In China, you can find a lot of social media platforms, some more specifics than the others but all very popular.

The most popular platforms which number the large majority of the Chinese users are Wechat and Weibo.

In China, social media have to be an important part of your marketing strategy. Social media allow you to gain visibility and to create a close relationship with your Chinese patients.

Patient engagement in China is a healthcare marketing strategy that strives to improve business outcomes. It is also useful to encourage patients to join this new way of medicine at lower costs. It is an effective concept combining Chinese patient sensibilisation and promotion. As in all the level of the customer’s relation, Chinese consumers want to be engaged in their health decision-making process.

WECHAT

Wechat has about 900 million active monthly users with the average user spending 2.5 hours per day. I don’t need to explain to you that it’s essential to have your own Wechat Official Account. Businesses have to develop a strong presence on the Number one Chinese APP.

HOW TO MAXIMIZE YOUR MARKETING ON WECHAT?

  • The first step is to create your Wechat Official Account, because for Chinese people it’s a trust criteria. Wechat will ask you a lot of information to be sure that you are the real brand and not an imposter. Users know that, so when Wechat provide an Official Account to a health brand, they know that it’s the real one.
  • Optimize your Wechat Official Account: create creative and interesting contents. Chinese users are curious, don’t bored them.
  • Push your attractiveness: Create good content, mix between Newsletter and Blog Posts.
  • Promote this content on Wechat via Group Shares, influencers, and Wechat advertising.

Wechat is an amazing and complete social media app. The social media platform can provide you a lot of other services, dedicated to businesses to improve their visibility in China. Work with specialists of Wechat can help you to be very effective in China.

WEIBO

Weibo is the second most used Social Media in China. It’s a mix between twitter and Facebook but in better. Weibo is very popular because it’s the first place where Chinese people can express themselves. The platform, of course, suffers a bit of censorship but not so much that’s why people like Weibo.

For health brands, it’s also an interesting platform, because Weibo allows brands to communicate with short message & pictures. And on Weibo, no need to be connected with people or brand to see the content. The content is in public access.

HOW TO MAXIMIZE YOUR MARKETING ON WEIBO?

  • Create your Weibo Official Account (for the same reasons as Wechat).
  • Create attractive and interesting content to be shared.
  • Promote this content on Weibo via Event, Advertising, and KOL (key opinion leaders)
  • Manage your community: reply to questions, interact with your database of followers, and other Weibo accounts.

ATTRACT PATIENTS BY COLLABORATING WITH INFLUENCERS

In China, like everywhere in this world, influencers (or KOL : Key Opinion Leaders) can be a great help to get more credibility.

It’s a common strategy to have an engagement strategy among this group of influencers. In Chine, influencers are very powerful. Users trust them more than brands due to all the scandals. Your brand will not be an exception that’s why a collaboration with a KOL can help you.

HOW TO CREATE GREAT INFLUENCERS CAMPAIGNS?

  • Identify the Top Influencers and find the influencers who match the best with your health company.
  • Contact them and set the terms of the collaboration.
  • Create great and creative supports
  • Get your publication
  • Re-use testimonials of the influencers in your social media and public relation strategy on your website.

SELL YOUR HEALTH PRODUCTS ON CHINESE E-COMMERCE PLATFORMS

In China, Health and Pharmacy companies have to sell their products on e-commerce platforms such as JD or Tmall.

Why? Because this platform are very popular and only sell quality product. You can’t find counterfeits on JD or Tmall. These two platforms only accepted high quality brands who have a good image and a good e-reputation.

JD

Jingdong or JD.com is the most trustful e-Commerce platform in China. It’s the number one place to find real health and pharmaceutical products. We usually advise our clients in the Medical Field to integrate this platform.

HOW TO SELL ON JD?

  • Get credibility awareness first because as I explained to you before, JD and Tmall only accept brands with awareness in China.
  • Apply on the platform and get approval to build your JD store.
  • Manage your store.
  • Advertise on JD platform.
  • Manage your customer service, it’s very important in China. Answer questions, find solutions, adapt your approach to your consumers.
  • Sell and optimize your results via Jd Ads and Special Event.

TMALL OR TMALL GLOBAL

Tmall is the leading e-commerce platform in China. It is a really a great platform for Leading Brands and leading Players of the Health and Pharmaceutical market.

HOW TO SELL ON TMALL?

·         Have a strong branding & e-reputation is the first step.

·         Apply to Tmall platform, negotiate and get the Alibaba approval.

·         Build your Tmall store.

·         Manage your store, create Products page.

·         Invest in Advertisement.

·         Set up a great customer services, via chats.

·         Develop and Optimize your results via tmall Ads and Special Event.

WHO WE ARE & HOW CAN WE HELP YOU?

WHO WE ARE & HOW CAN WE HELP YOU?

Devising the right strategy for this market is therefore the key. We are a specialist agency with a wealth of experience in the development of medical and pharmaceutical companies. We worked with a lot of foreign businesses to help them developing their attraction alongside Chinese patients.

EXPERTS IN SEO ON BAIDU

Our focus is to promote your business with your target closely in mind. To sell, you need to be visible & reputable. In order to achieve this we can use digital tools including; Baidu SEO and SEM, E-PR, Media Buying (DSP) & Community Management. Then, we’ll manage the campaign and assure its optimization & success.

We are Baidu experienced

High knowledges of Baidu

  • A ROI-focused agency
  • We are effective
  • We have more than 300 cases studies

PROFESSIONALS OF THE LEAD GENERATION

We are professionals of the lead generation. To be effective in your lead generation, you need to acquire good e-reputation, invest in online advertising and measure results and finally create quality content.

We have lead generation experience and we apply it to our agency. We get an average of 350 leads per month (March 2018) by applying the method we offer to companies that use our services.

UNDERSTANDING OF CHINESE PATIENTS

Since 2012, we are dedicated to the improving of many companies in China. We understand the expectations of chinese patients. What kind of platforms they use and why.

WE SPECIALIZE IN

  • Website Creation, Development & Auditing
  • Baidu Search Engine Optimization
  • WeChat & Weibo Content Marketing
  • Reputation Management & Community Development.
  • Public Relations & Exposure in Chinese E-Media.
  • Analytics, monthly reports & analysis from our team of experts.

WE ARE A ROI-FOCUSED AGENCY

We are a ROI-focused agency. The solution is to attract and also re-target the most qualified traffic in order to increase conversion rates.

A FRENCH AND CHINESE TEAM

We are french and chinese team, here to help you developing your business in China.

We understand the chinese consumers: their needs and habits

We also understand the foreign brands’s difficulties when they tried to enter the chinese market.

Each members of the team are specialized in a field. They have experience and they are effective.

AND IN BONUS

We are a friendly team, we offer the coffee if you book a meeting with our consultants to discuss about your project in China.

And trust me… our coffee is really good 🙂

We’ve already worked on a host of pharmacy and healthcare projects and know how to efficiently promote your business in China by engaging with the latest digital tools & cutting edge strategy.

If you’re interested in being part of the Chinese market and want to reach your Chinese target, you need to adopt the most intelligent strategy.

Our dedicated team can offer a healthcare and pharmacy plan for China’s Online strategy that will be adapted to your products or services and target. Don’t hesitate to contact us for more information.

OUR EXPERIENCE : OUR CASE STUDY

INFAT – ADVANCED LIPIDS

INFAT is a brand who sells fat components used in infant milk formula to mimics the composition, structure and benefits of human milk fat.s. It has been manufactured and marketed by Advanced Lipid for over a decade. They called our agency because they wanted to expand their brand into the lucrative infant formula market in China.

THE INFAT’S CHALLENGE

Compared to other famous infant formula brands, INFAT had little awareness and reputation in the Chinese market. No parents will trust an unknown brand. The challenge was huge.

THE SOLUTIONS WE FOUND

  • Creation of a Wechat Official Account
  • Promotion through contents
  • H5 to collect customer’s experience
  • Interaction with customers (single/group chats)
  • SEO on Baidu
  • Website set up
  • SEO Campaign to Increase Ranking
  • PPC (Pay-Per-Click)
  • Management of e-reputation
  • Interaction on Forums / Q&A
  • Social platforms

WHAT WERE THE RESULTS?

WeChat

  • 1500 new followers
  • 100, 000 views of articles

SEO

  • 34 pages have been indexed on Baidu
  • 4, 530 backlinks have been indexed on Baidu
  • Keywords rank 1st on Baidu

PPC

  • 12 leads in first 2 months after starting campaign
  • Around 40, 000 clicks

E-reputation

  • 10, 000 views on forums content
  • Promotion of articles on other websites achieved 15,000 views

We have helped improve their awareness and reputation significantly. They also built up their own customer community around Chinese mothers.

GET IN TOUCH

Devising the right strategy for this market is therefore the key.

We are a specialist agency with a wealth of experience in the pharmacy and healthcare market.

For information please contact our experts for an
in-depth discussion.