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Beijing Review Exclusive
16th Asian Games> Beijing Review Exclusive
UPDATED: November 18, 2010 NO. 46 NOVEMBER 18, 2010
Winning Hearts and Minds
With an innovative spirit and focus, Shenzhen-based Mindray looks to expand its medical equipment sales in China and abroad

Mindray Vice President of International Marketing Richard Yang Ting (JING XIAOLEI)

In a medical device market dominated by big names like GE and Philips Electronics, a little known Chinese company is gaining recognition from medical facilities and practitioners in the United States and Europe. Mindray, a Shenzhen-based medical instrument developer and manufacturer, caught the eye of U.S newspapers, particularly the Wall Street Journal, after it won over Hoboken University Medical Center in New Jersey with machinery priced 40-percent lower than mainstream equipment providers.

Mindray is extremely ambitious and sees the opportunity to expand their business in the United States, Wayne Quinn, Vice President of U.S. sales for Mindray, told the Wall Street Journal.

Key to success

Innovation, as the company's founder Xu Hang put it, is the only secret to Mindray's success. To date. the company has established R&D centers in Beijing, Nanjing and Shenzhen, as well as three centers in Stockholm, Sweden and New Jersey and Seattle in the United States. Each year, Mindray pours more than 10 percent of its net revenues back into research and development, said Mindray Vice President of International Marketing Richard Yang Ting.

"The talent we hire for the overseas R&D centers are sophisticated veterans who are familiar with the industry, the technology and its new trends," said Yang. The overseas R&D centers' major responsibilities lie in planning the new concepts, conducting pre-study research and creating a system blueprint. After that, the domestic centers actualize the conceptual ideas and design concrete products.

Founded in 1991 by enterprising Chinese technical engineers, Mindray set out to develop high-quality medical machinery that was easy to use and affordable. Its product lines would focus on patient monitoring, in-vitro diagnosis and medical imaging systems.

Over the past two decades, the company's repertoire has grown to include more than 70 products. And since 2002, Mindray has also developed the capacity to launch seven to nine new products each year.

"Consistent technology enables us to make products with superior functionality and a higher performance-to-price ratio. That's our key competitiveness," said Yang. As of December 2009, Mindray had obtained 960 technology patents or patent applications.

A global vision

According to Yang, Mindray is one of the few pioneers in China to develop medical devices independent of foreign companies. The gold rush of the medical equipment industry came in the late 1990s when similar manufacturers began tapping into the business. But it was Mindray's innovation and quality products and services that have put them ahead of industry competition in China. Today, the company says its products have been used in over 40,000 medical facilities, including renowned hospitals like Peking Union Medical College Hospital and Fudan University Zhongshan Hospital in Shanghai.

In 2000, Mindray began looking at markets aboard, starting with Europe. By 2007, it had established itself internationally, with revenues from foreign markets exceeding domestic sales. That year, Mindray became the first Chinese medical device maker listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).

Mindray gained a leading market share in China in 2007, in terms of the number of units sold and total revenues for patient monitoring devices, according to a report from business research and consulting firm Frost & Sullivan.

Mindray took another bold leap in global expansion in May 2008 by acquiring the patient monitoring division of U.S.-headquartered Datascope Corporation, becoming the third-largest developer and supplier of global patient monitoring devices in the world.

"We and Datascope used to be partners and competitors. The acquisition enabled us to use Datascope's localized sales and service channels in the United States and Western Europe," Yang said. Mindray's products can now be found in over 190 countries and regions.

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