China is good at copying is not news. Many Chinese firms prosper because they successfully emulate foreign firms’ products and business models. In fact, one could argue there are more of these “micro-innovations” around than “original innovations”, and that “micro-innovating” firms are more likely to succeed because they have giants’ shoulders to step on. Hence the challenge: what would Chinese firms do when they cannot simply “copy and paste”?

This is essentially the challenge companies must face if they want to make a dent in the healthcare and pharmaceutical industry. Observers have noted that these industries are hotbeds for entrepreneurs nowadays, and things are only going to get more serious with the proliferation of mobile devices and government mandated changes such as electronic records.  Of course, to break into industries notorious for their conservatism is not going to be an easy task; essentially, today’s entrepreneurs have to succeed at where the legendary Jim Clark failed. And for an IT company to break into these industries, there are many, many pitfalls.

For Chinese companies trying to make things happen locally, there are even worse. The Chinese healthcare and pharmaceutical industries are so different from their American counterparts that it is extremely difficult, even impossible, for Chinese entrepreneurs to find role models to emulate.

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Yang Wang

Yang is currently the brand and media director at Elitime Media & Consulting. He has published and translated seven books, and several of his works have been translated and published in areas such...