US-China relations are going through turbulent times, yet a pair of medtech in-country authorities are still enthusiastic about this opportunity, both for companies looking to access the Chinese market, where the improved regulatory landscape is a reason for optimism, and for those seeking Chinese investors. China continues, however, to present unique challenges for companies looking to capitalize on these prospects.
Prior to 2016, it was a truism in medtech that China, among all emerging markets, represented a robust opportunity for the industry, both as a potential market in which to sell products, and a prospective source of investment dollars for US and European companies. However, with the change in the US political landscape came a cooling of US-China relations as leaders butted heads on trade, security and other issues. This caused many in the industry to question whether this represented a long-term shift that would impact strategic plans to focus on the China market. Also, actions such as the Chinese government's restricting the amount of currency that could leave the country raised concerns about the viability of future Chinese investment sources. All told, the relative certainty that industry prefers, which took a long time to create, was called into question.