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News from China
Prognosis for pharma: healthy times ahead
19th December 2018

 Multinational drug companies are applauding China’s efforts to open its market wider and embrace global healthcare standards.

"Opening up and reform in the past decades have not only brought in foreign capital, but also the latest technologies, the best practices in manufacturing and quality control, and higher levels of management experience," said Luo Jiali, general manager of Boehringer Ingelheim Bioharmaceuticals China.
The German-based parent company was selected as one of the first foreign companies to be included in China's biopharma “contract manufacturing organization” pilot project. The trial allows domestic and overseas drug companies to outsource manufacturing and early-phase research and development work to eligible third parties.
Luo said there was no such thing as outsourcing in the manufacture of medicines when the company first decided to set up a production site and lab in Shanghai six years ago.
The new model means that local pharma firms no longer have to set up their own manufacturing facilities, a cost burden that many can’t bear.
Boehringer Ingelheim was one of the earliest pharmaceutical companies to offer outsourcing services for both local and foreign drug firms. The company said it is adopting advance technologies as a forerunner to the new business model.
For example, single-use technology and continuous manufacturing facilities were first adopted in its Shanghai site ahead of three other sites in the US and Europe.
Earlier this year, the National Medical Products Administration of China, formerly the China Food and Drug Administration, accepted an application from Chinese pharma firm Beigene for a new lymphoma drug. Clinical, manufacturing and quality control corroborating information was provided by Boehringer Ingelheim’s lab in Shanghai.
Beigene's new drug is expected to become the first approved by Chinese authorities under the Market Authorization Holder trial program.
That program aims to accelerate commercial production of new medications, especially those developed by start-up firms.
Last year, China also became a member of the International Conference on Harmonization of Technical Requirements for Registration of Pharmaceuticals for Human Use. The body aims to raise standards across all aspects of pharmaceutical regulation.
"In the past two years, China’s Center for Drug Evaluation has cleared a drug evaluation backlog and pushed implementation of drug-evaluation reforms," healthcare analyst Zhao Bing at UBS Securities said in a research note.  
Some 9,680 drug filings were processed in 2017, reducing the backlog to 4,000 from as many as 22,000 two years ago.
Multinational drug companies typically started business in China by importing medicines already approved and on the market in overseas countries.
China is also implementing a fast-track new drug approval process to get drugs in high demand for the treatment of cancer, cardiovascular diseases and respiratory ailments to the market as soon as it is safely possible. 
As one of the fastest growing foreign pharma businesses in China, UK-based pharma giant Astra Zeneca is forging ties with local partners to provide innovative business models.
AstraZeneca's latest effort has been in disease management solutions covering every aspect of a patient, including disease prevention, diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation.
The company is leveraging Internet of Things technologies to offer solutions to its business partners.
French-based Sanofi is pledging 60 million yuan (US$8.6 million) in financial aid for startups in the next five years as part of China’s "Internet plus healthcare" initiative.
The company is inviting startups to collaborate in areas of patient management, medication adherence and digital-assistant robots. 
Similar efforts have also been initiated by German multinational Bayer to combine the strength of the latest mobile technologies with its healthcare businesses.
The company has initiated incubator programs in the past three years to evaluate pharma startups to support Chinese innovation in digital health and nutrition fields.
Source: Shanghai Daily, December 19, 2018
China's economic miracle: 40-year rise in numbers
18th December 2018

 Four decades after China's late leader Deng Xiaoping masterminded the "reform and opening-up" policy, the Asian giant has become an economic superpower, behind only the United States.

Here we break down the transformation in numbers.
The factor by which the size of China's economy multiplied between 1980 and 2017, expanding from US$305 billion to US$12.7 trillion.
The number of dollar billionaires in China — the most in the world, according to Shanghai-based publisher Hurun Report. Alibaba founder Jack Ma tops the list, with his wealth at a whopping US$39 billion.
The average percentage growth rate in China's economy between 1980 and 2016.
The value, in billions of dollars, of foreign investment into China in 2017, up from virtually nothing in 1980.
Chinese investment abroad, in billions of dollars, in 2016.
The factor by which Chinese household consumption grew between 1980 and 2016, exploding from US$49 billion to US$4.4 trillion.
The population, in billions, of China in 2017, up from 963 million inhabitants in 1978 and making it the world's most populous country. 
Average Chinese life expectancy in 2016, up from 66 in 1979.
Source: Shanghai Daily, December 17, 2018
Fledgling eSports boost to nation's economy
17th December 2018

 Chinese eSports club Invictus Gaming claimed Chinese mainland’s first world championship in the League of Legends after beating European team Fnatic 3-0 in Inchon, South Korea, early this month.

The victory caused a sensation in cyberspace and in return populated this new competitive sport among the public and not just with the younger generation.
ESports has already penetrated the world of competitive video games, the genre is building a large number of fans in China and even government officials are lauding its merits.
Hangzhou’s Xiacheng District has already recognized its potential and established an eSports town in June with the aim of alluring game firms, gadget vendors and new players from online broadcasting platforms, professional eSports event organizers, mobile chip and device makers and sporting firms.
In the middle of November, the first project Hailan International eSports Center entered the town. It is an incubator for professional companies. It also researches eSports development trends and culture.
The center covers an area of 150,000 square meters with an investment of 100 million yuan (US$14.41 million). Top-notch facilities include a football field and a basketball court, a gym, a 1,000-seat hall, a five-star real estate management service company and apartment buildings. 
“Financial support from Xiacheng District government has injected energy into our project so the center could be erected smoothly,” said Zhang Yong, president of Hailan Group. “We hope to be a new landmark for eSports, a leading trend of the industry, and allure more aficionados.”
So far, 125 eSports companies have moved into the center with a total registration capital of 1.5 billion yuan, including LGD, Chushou, Allied Esports and Huxing Cultural Media.
LGD has claimed championships in several worldwide eSports tournaments since the establishment of the gaming league format in 2009. The team now has moved from Shanghai to Hangzhou.
“In the past, we could only rent venues for competitions, but now we have our own venue with top facilities and screens to live stream our contests,” said Li Xuan, chief strategy executive of LGD. “We are going to host league matches in January and build it into a top eSports event in China.”
At present, LGD has around 100 professionals and a dozen of teams, participating in 40 to 50 international competitions within a year.
“On-the-spot competition totally differentiates from watching video games online. We are expecting to bring more and more offline contests and fans to the town, creating a positive vibe and a cluster effect here,” said Li.
Xiacheng District is trying to create an ideal business environment for the eSports industry. In April, it announced a preferential policy including 16 items related to every facet of the industry to attract investment, talent and companies.
Local authorities have set up a foundation of 100 million yuan to support the eSports’ development, covering rent, housing, innovation, training, rewards and venues.
For instance, any organization that hosts a world series in the town and offers a prize of more than 10 million yuan for the winners, could be subsidized up to 3 million yuan. If a company holds a national-level competition with a total prize of 3 million yuan, it would be granted with a subsidy of up to 1 million yuan.
Team members are well-respected and well-paid if they win games. Champions are rewarded with a prize fund between 100,000 yuan to 500,000 yuan according to the level of games.
“Now there are 14 projects under construction with an investment of 1.4 billion yuan in the town. The core project is the main venue that has an area of 40,000 square meters and around 10,000 seats. The construction will complete in 2021,” said Jiang Liming, director of Hangzhou eSports Town Management Committee.
Once completed, innovative gaming outfits, with specialized computers, keyboards, chips, earphones and large screens in the venue, are expected to attract countless viewers.
ESports officially debuted at the Asian Games in Jakarta in August, and there is talk that the sport could eventually win an Olympic Games’ berth.
“If eSports enters the Asian Games in 2022, this venue will definitely become the main venue welcoming players from home and abroad,” Jiang added. “It is going to be one of world’s top venues hosting international video games.”
Within five years, the town is expected to attract 1,000 companies and 10,000 gaming talent, incubate at least 10 top-flight clubs, organize around 1,000 competitions, welcome 2 million visitors, reach a revenue of 1 billion yuan and become a mecca for Chinese eSports fans.
China’s eSports game market generated 41.8 billion yuan in the first half of this year, a 16 percent increase from a year earlier and triple the growth of the overall gaming market, according to a report released at ChinaJoy in August.
Boosting eSports is part of a grand plan to broaden Hangzhou’s cultural base. In the previous three quarters of this year, the added value of the city’s digital industry has already reached 24.56 billion yuan, an increase of 14.1 percent year on year, accounting for 25.4 percent of gross domestic product.
Source: Shanghai Daily, December 17, 2018
Local companies more attractive than multinationals: report
14th December 2018

 Multinational companies are losing out to local companies in their appeal to the best talent in China, according to a new report by Bain & Company.

The 2018 China Leadership Report, conducted by Bain in partnership with LinkedIn, found that roughly 40 percent of business leaders who began a new job at a local company in China over the past five years transitioned there from a multinational corporation. That compared with a rate of 33 percent in 2016.
“It is a stunning turnaround, as in the past foreign companies were considered better than their local counterparts for career growth,” said Stephen Shih, a partner at Bain.
The change took place amid the fast growth of Chinese companies, which can now offer the same or even better career opportunities for their employees, according to the report. Additionally, Chinese talent felt they have a greater amount of control over leadership decisions in local firms.
“By choosing to work at a Chinese company, leaders can expect to have a more hands-on role in key decision making and corporate strategy — an opportunity that is very appealing to many business leaders, especially younger employees,” Shih said.
This movement of talent from international companies to local ones has meant that human resources departments at multinationals have had to adjust how they attract local talent in China.
“Local Chinese companies are redefining our entire thinking of the talent market as they continue to attract leaders due to their experience, salary, training and opportunities,” James Root, another Bain partner and co-author of the report said.
“Multinationals need to rethink and adapt their value proposition to ensure that local talent feel they will have both opportunities and feel valued, thus ensuring that they don’t lose out on this important generation of leaders,” Root added.
Source: Shanghai Daily, December 14, 2018

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