Medical devices in China: Olympus seeks bigger piece of growing market
TOKYO — Olympus will expand its sales force and offer new, high-performance surgical tools to try cutting into the Chinese market for medical devices.
The Japanese optical equipment producer aims to more than double the Chinese hospitals using its endoscopes and other devices to 3,000 by 2019. It faces rising competition from local manufacturers whose primary advantage is low costs.
With people in China increasingly seeking early detection and treatment of digestive tract cancers, Olympus plans to enlarge its medical devices sales force there by 10% to 660 by next spring. The roughly 1,300 hospitals now using its devices are concentrated in major metropolitan areas, so the company wants to branch out into second- and third-tier cities.
Olympus will also provide training in minimally invasive surgical procedures, like those commonly used to remove abdominal cancer tissue in Japan, at its four Chinese training centers.
To improve after-sales service, the company plans to double its maintenance capacity in China to roughly 20,000 scopes a year by 2019.