China: Life-sciences Masterclass: Understanding China's Healthcare Market and its Evolutions: 6 module course – May 2022

China: Life-sciences Masterclass: Understanding China's Healthcare Market and its Evolutions: 6 module course – May 2022

The Flanders-China Chamber of Commerce, in collaboration with Smart Hub Flemish Brabant and Flanders Investment & Trade, has the pleasure to invite you to the Masterclass: "Understanding China's Healthcare sector”. The Chinese healthcare market is experiencing an unprecedented growth that is presenting burgeoning opportunities for Flemish companies. China is now the second largest market in the world for medical devices and pharmaceuticals. China’s healthcare service market is also quickly becoming one of the largest in the world.

First session on May 10, 2022: “Market opportunities and challenges in China's healthcare sector”

Ms Gwenn Sonck, Executive Director, Flanders-China Chamber of Commerce and EU-China Business Association, welcomed the participants to the first webinar of the Masterclass Understanding China's Healthcare Market. The Masterclass is organized with the support of Smart Hub Vlaams-Brabant and Flanders Investment and Trade. You will learn about the general healthcare landscape in China, and how it has evolved as well as the opportunities and challenges; best practices and lessons learnt; negotiations and tactics; legislation; products registration; financial incentives; and production and sales in the Chinese market. China is the world's second-largest healthcare market and healthcare reform is one of the priorities of the Chinese government.

Mr Franck Le Deu, Senior Partner at McKinsey Greater China, based in Hong Kong, covered two markets in this webinar: biopharmaceuticals and medtech. The China biopharma industry is stepping on the global stage and there are seven trends shaping its innovation. McKinsey has assessed China's potential impact on global biopharma through three lenses: value chain capabilities; funding for biotechs and innovation output. Mr Le Deu sketched the outlook for China's impact on global biopharma, shaped by five interrelated factors. He concluded that the emergence of the China biopharma ecosystem is no longer just a China story. It is a global one that is considered to have profound implications for decades to come. Three impact scenarios are in the cards by 2028: stunted, at-scale or transformational impact.

China MedTech is continuing the journey towards a globally leading market, characterized by eight key trends. There are three scenarios to a global leading MedTech industry role: China-centric decoupled MedTech market; engine of global business growth; and epicenter of global MedTech industry. Mr Le Deu concluded his presentation with explaining four issues that will matter most for MedTech leaders in China.

Second session on May 11, 2022: “Practical testimonials & negotiating with Chinese partners”

Ms Gwenn Sonck, introduced the two guest speakers: Mr Bart Boschmans, Flemish Economic Representative in Shanghai, and Mr Henk Joos, General Manager, Agio Capital & Business Solutions.

Mr Boschmans talked about how to prepare for successful participation in trade fairs and matchmaking in China. Flanders Investment and Trade (FIT) is offering support to companies, specifically for trade fairs and events, including subsidies for individual participation. In many cases it is possible to join the FIT booth at a trade fair. The preparation to participate in a trade fair is very important. You need to do your research in advance. But trade fair follow-up is at least as important as the preparation. React fast to questions from your contacts and seek professional advice early. Specifically for healthcare, beware of regulations and registration procedures. Mr Boschmans and his team remain available till mid-August, when he will move to New York.

Mr Joos talked about cultural differences and negotiating with Chinese partners. In the past 18 months Agio has closed 10 deals for eight European customers. The number of licensing deals by Chinese therapeutic companies has been growing in the past 10 years. Chinese Medtech is expanding rapidly but faces some challenges. In investment advisory, Agio has access to over 1,000 PE/VC healthcare funds in Europe, Asia and the U.S. In strategic partnership advisory Agio has developed a strong network of pharma, biotech and medtech companies, and an extensive network of CROs, CMOs and IP/law firms. Signing the contract is only the beginning, not the end. Probably the biggest challenge in closing deals has been the cultural differences. In team and organizational development the typical statement of Europeans when they have been talking to the Chinese for three months is that they are extremely chaotic and they don't know what they want, whereas in reality they know very well what they want but are following their own process.

Third session on May 12, 2022: “Entering the Chinese Healthcare Market”

Ms Gwenn Sonck, introduced the two guest speakers: Mr Philippe Snel, Founder and Managing Director of DaWo Law Firm in Shanghai and Mr Valentin de le Court, IP Lawyer at Osborne Clarke living and working in China, who has 15 years experience in intellectual property law.

Mr Philippe Snel said that it was already three years since he last was in Belgium, speaking on the 45th day of lockdown in Shanghai. Foreign investment in the healthcare industry is regulated by the Special Administrative Measures (Negative List) for Access of Foreign Investments (2021 Edition), effective since January 1, 2022. Activities on the negative list are restricted or prohibited. You can consider that you have access to the healthcare market, the question is what is the best way to access it. Mr Snel explained the three ways: export from Europe to China; tech transfer; and joint venture or WFOE. He also emphasized that it is becoming increasingly important to pay attention to the cybersecurity and data protection laws.

Mr de le Court talked about legal aspects of IP protection in China in the life sciences and healthcare sector. R&D spending in China grew tenfold between 2000 and 2016. China is set to spend more than the U.S. on R&D by 2025. The Chinese IP landscape has changed. China evolved from a norm taker to a norm setter. It is possible to protect and to enforce your IP rights in China. This opens up opportunities: China wants to end technology dependence. Mr de le Court briefly introduced invention patents, utility models and trade secrets, emphasizing that the Chinese utility model is underused by foreign companies but is very interesting. He concluded that you should align your patent strategy to your business needs.