Chinese enterprises are making significant strides on the international stage, driven by the Belt and Road Initiative introduced in 2013. This movement has gained momentum in recent years, especially in sectors such as new energy, consumer technology, and life sciences, highlighting a robust trend of Chinese companies embarking on a globalisation path.

To secure their competitive edge in foreign markets, these businesses are deeply engaged in localisation efforts, spanning branding adjustments to strategic team development. Europe, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East have emerged as key focal points for their international expansion efforts.

The trend of expanding into global markets isn’t exclusive to big players like Xiaomi, Nio, and Shein; small and medium-sized enterprises are also making their mark internationally. This includes companies in the healthcare and life sciences sectors, which are finding significant success abroad.

MedTech industry leaders such as MicroPort, Mindray, Wei Gao, and United Imaging, as highlighted in a recent Deloitte report, are reporting an increasing portion of their revenues coming from international markets, underscoring the global reach and impact of these businesses.

leading Chinese Medical Device Companies

Page Executive Healthcare Life Sciences: supporting our clients’ overseas expansion – recent case study

Page Executive Healthcare and Life Sciences is partnering with Chinese firms in their quest for global expansion by connecting them with top executive talent.

Our commitment to aiding these companies in their international endeavours comes as they seek skilled leaders to navigate global markets successfully. With a dedicated global team of over 30 executive search experts specialising in sectors like Pharma, Biotech, Medical Devices and Diagnostics, as well as Healthcare Services, we’re poised to match the right leaders with the right companies, driving success in their global operations.

In a recent engagement, we supported a leading international healthcare investment firm, still in stealth mode with only a CEO based in Singapore, securing their Senior Vice President of Business Development and Licensing for their operations in China. 

Leveraging our expertise, we identified a MedTech professional with significant industry connections within China, fulfilling the client’s needs within an ambitious six-week timeline. This candidate brought a rare blend of commercial background and post-investment management experience in MedTech sector.

Our successful partnership with the firm is set to continue as we assist in assembling their middle-to-senior commercial team across Southeast Asia and the Middle East, drawing upon the specialised capabilities of our Michael Page team.

We currently focus on fulfilling key positions, including a Chief Business Officer for a China biotech company’s CDMO business spin-off outside China, and a Chief Executive Officer for a Southeast Asian pharmaceutical commercialisation platform. These assignments underscore our commitment to connecting top-tier executive talent with transformative healthcare industry roles.

In-demand skills for executives leading the ‘In China for Global Expansion’ initiative

  1. Local expertise: For Chinese companies eyeing global markets, certain executive skills are becoming increasingly vital. Deep local market insights, including connections with local customers and regulatory bodies, as well as a robust local talent network, are critical. 
  2. Versatile corporate function background: Executives should also possess a versatile background in corporate functions, particularly in commercial roles, alongside a comprehensive grasp of P&L management, business development, and supply chain operations to meet the ambitious growth targets.
  3. Understanding the nuances of Chinese corporate culture: For companies facing a limited local talent pool, considering candidates with experience in China or with Chinese stakeholders can be advantageous to bridge gaps between headquarters and international teams.

How to attract executive talent to support overseas expansion

Companies need to enhance their visibility and articulate a clear roadmap for growth. In the summer of 2023, PageGroup China ran a global webinar highlighting the key talent challenges for Chinese companies going global. Ahead are some key takeaways. 

1. Raise the profile awareness of the company 

In today’s interconnected world, a business leading the charts in China might still be charting its course in international waters. To bridge this gap, leveraging online platforms for sharing insights about your business strategies and updates can significantly amplify your global visibility, drawing the attention of elite leaders worldwide.

For ventures operating under the radar, selecting a recruitment partner experienced in handling sensitive information like non-disclosure agreements can be pivotal. Such a partner’s expertise in attracting top-tier talent while navigating confidentiality agreements is invaluable.

2. Bring a clear global expansion road map with confirmed resources allocated.

Success in global markets demands a meticulously planned expansion strategy backed by assured resources. Empowering your executive leadership with the autonomy to inject local market insights and tailor the overarching approach to fit nuanced regional demands is crucial. 

3. Partner with a global recruitment specialist

Hiring exceptional leadership for international ventures becomes a smoother process with a recruitment ally with deep roots in China and a worldwide presence. Their strong local ties and global reach make them well-equipped to seamlessly find and attract top talent across borders, enabling your cross-border initiatives to thrive under capable leadership. 

With 20+ years of history in the Chinese Mainland and over 40+ years of global operations, Page Executive is proud to support the ‘In China for Global’ trend. Reach out to us to learn more about how Page Executive can support your business's overseas expansion.

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