To capitalize on Germany’s global reputation for high-quality products, Guangdong Biolight Meditech from China partnered with a German holding company on a 10-million-euro factory in Laage based in the northern state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. It produces a key equipment for treating patients with kidney disease.
Together, they have opened a 10-million-euro factory in Laage, producing a key component to treat patients with kidney disease.
Based in Guangdong, Biolight is one of China’s top three medical equipment manufacturers of its sort, with some 1,000 staff and more than USD 100 million in annual revenue. Not content to limit itself to the Chinese market, the company has branched out and now sells to 130 countries.
But it’s still dwarfed by medical equipment giants like Philips and GE Healthcare, whose established reputations and billions in revenue give them a huge advantage in Western markets. To expand, Biolight is focusing on less developed countries and smaller hospitals. “Above all, we want to be growing and international,” says Gary Wei, co-CEO of Biolight’s joint venture in Germany, which is called BM Bioscience Technology.
“There’s still room for growth in niche markets.” But initially Biolight encountered a roadblock: “Many customers believe ‘Made in China’ quality is so-so, or even worse,” says Wei. “Everything ‘Made in Germany’ has a good reputation.” That’s what brought Biolight to Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. According to Gabriel Flemming, senior manager for healthcare at GTAI, Biolight is part of a growing trend.
“More Chinese companies are investing here to satisfy a demand in China for products ‘Made in Germany,’” Flemming says. Production facilities in Germany also give foreign firms a foothold in Europe’s largest medtech market.