Chinese Traditional Medicine drives international expansion
The value of the healthcare category increased 3 percent in the BrandZÔ Top 100 Most Valuable Chinese Brands 2017, as each of the three brands represented – Yunnan Baiyao, Tong Ren Tang, and CR Sanjiu – increased modestly.
Retail sales of western and Chinese medicines grew 12.4 percent during the first 10 months of 2016, according to China’s National Bureau of Statistics. Meanwhile, the Chinese healthcare industry took steps to go global.
Tong Ren Tang opened three stores in the US at the end of 2016, one in San Francisco and two in New York. It also plans to open in Vancouver, Canada. These locations have large Chinese communities, but the brand expects to open 200 stores worldwide over the next five years.
Ton Ren Tang also entered a licensing agreement to be the exclusive distributor in China for the vitamins, nutritional supplements, and other healthcare products of the Canadian brand Natural Factors. Established in 1669, during the Qing Dynasty, Tong Ren Tang has over four centuries of experience developing traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) and the brand is well known in China.
Although TCM is growing in popularity in the West, greater mainstream adoption in the US, for example, requires approval from government regulators and acceptance by insurance companies. Tong Ren Tang expects the growing popularity of acupuncture in the US to help facilitate its expansion. In addition, it plans to open a Chinese medicine cultural center with the American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine, in San Francisco.
Known for creating products fortified with the healing power of herbal ingredients, Yunnan Baiyao was well positioned to meet the rising consumer interest in natural personal care products. It derives a large portion of its revenue in oral care, where it faces significant competition from multinationals. Yunnan Baiyao also explored expanding into fragrances.
CR Sanjiu acquired Kunming Shenghuo Pharmaceutical Group, strengthening the brand’s presence in cardiovascular health. CR Sanjiu is a subsidiary of CR Pharmaceutical, a holding of China Resources, the giant state-owned conglomerate.