"Philips is as much a household word in China as it is in the Netherlands," she says.
She notes the company has a strong presence in cardiology, oncology, and women's health, and holds leadership positions in several technologies including color ultrasound, patient monitoring solutions, cardiovascular X-ray, digital radiography, resuscitation, defibrillators, as well as in oncology simulation and high-end MR and CT systems.
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Philips also has partnerships and subsidiaries in China. In 2004, Philips established a joint venture with the Neusoft group, which designs and manufactures economy- to mid-range products for the large domestic market. And in April 2008, Philips acquired Shenzhen Goldway Industrial, China's second-largest patient monitoring manufacturer, Choksey says.
In addition, she notes that "Philips' acquisition of Respironics and Italian-based Medel provide the company with manufacturing facilities in China, so that Philips can enter into the under-penetrated home health care segment of the Chinese market, as the population ages. She adds that Philips has 12 R&D centers in China and is involved in an extensive range of innovative collaboration projects with top universities and research institutes.
Meanwhie, Varian Medical Systems, gleaning that dynamic opportunities were opening up in China, bought Pan-Pacific Enterprises, its long-time medical imaging tube distributor, in December 2007. Pan-Pacific was an American company, started in 1991 by Hsiao-Li Pan, a Chinese-American who sold new Varian replacement X-ray tubes into China. Pan is now Varian's China Country Manager for its X-ray Products Division.
Two of Varian's businesses, linear accelerators for oncology, and X-ray products including tubes and flat panel detectors for all makes of imaging equipment, are doing well, Pan says.
He notes the medtech sector in China is growing by 14 percent, versus 10 percent for the economy overall, except for this year when China's economy slowed to 8 percent due to the recession.
"With 1.3 billion people, the Chinese market for medtech is huge," Pan says.
The company's tubes range from those used in smaller machines in rural hospitals to the higher-end tubes used in the latest CT equipment installed in Chinese urban hospitals.
Varian works with Chinese OEMs and also sells new replacement X-ray tubes. Its customers are primarily local manufacturers, independent service organizations, or asset management groups supporting a wide variety of X-ray imaging equipment.