BioSpace: Why China’s biotech sector thrives despite a global recession

UC political scientist comments on the strength of China’s biopharma gains

China’s foray into biotech companies is relatively new in comparison to Western nations, but it’s gaining speed while other nations struggle with economic downturns.

“China has made a huge push since 2010 to develop biotech companies that can compete at the apex of the world economy,” Thomas Moore, Ph.D., associate professor at UC’s School of Public and International Affairs told BioSpace.

In 2015, he says, the Chinese government launched the Made in China 2025 Initiative to develop key industries to the point where, by 2025, it would not have to rely either on imports of finished products or upon global supply chains in which its companies played a subordinate role in collaborating with major foreign companies.

Moore continued. “Beyond meeting China’s own needs, the additional aim was for these companies to become peer competitors of the large corporate behemoths from other countries that dominate global markets.”

According to the article, in 2000, China did not have one company on the Forbes Global 2000 list. In 2021, it had 14. This is good for second place on this list, behind the United States which had 31.

“The entire Chinese biotech infrastructure, including individual biotech companies themselves, have been the beneficiaries of substantial funding and other kinds of policy and regulatory assistance to help them succeed,” said Moore.

Moore, who is also an affiliate associate professor in Asian Studies, teaches undergraduate and graduate courses on globalization, international political economy, U.S.-China relations, and the politics and international relations of East Asia.

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Featured photo at top courtesy of the National Cancer Institute. 

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