The 10 most read China health and nutrition stories in 2019

By Tingmin Koe

- Last updated on GMT

See the 10 most read health and nutrition stories concerning the China market in 2019. ©Getty Images
See the 10 most read health and nutrition stories concerning the China market in 2019. ©Getty Images

Related tags China Probiotics Infant formula

See our 10 most read China health and nutrition stories for this year, including Nu Skin's investigation into the death of a Chinese consumer, how China's regulator has introduced programs to stem illegal activities and rise the standards of product manufacturing.
Nu Skin investigating death of Chinese woman who relied on supplements and refused medical treatment

Nu Skin China has formed a focus group, led by the firm's country CEO, to look into the death ​of a 34-year-old Chinese woman who died from organ failure after allegedly refusing medical treatment for flu and fever, and instead insisting on drinking Nu Skin's fruit juice.

The deceased, surnamed Lin, died from organ failure caused by a severe lung infection on March 2. Prior to her death, she had been suffering from flu and fever for days.

She was also a seller of Nu Skin's products. Chinese media reports claim she relied on her 'mentor's' advice, and insisted on consuming supplements and fruit juice instead of receiving medical care.

Chinese boom: How probiotics and e-commerce are changing China's supplement industry

Probiotics and e-commerce are two of the most prominent priorities for Chinese consumers when it comes to dietary supplements, according to a Mintel report​ on 2018's top supplement trends in China.

Research analyst Vicky Zhou said: "Parents have the intention to purchase health supplements for their children, especially probiotic supplements.

"Brands have invested in probiotic supplements to target parents and young consumers, and consumers are responding well to this innovative segment."

China direct selling: All 91 firms summoned to regulator meeting amid ‘100-day’ clampdown

China’s State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR) and the Ministry of Commerce summoned all 91 direct-selling firms​ operating in China to a meeting as part of the “100-day operation” to clean up the health food market.

Industry experts previously told NutraIngredients-Asia​ that the direct-selling industry was especially hard-hit by the operation. One indicator was that the Chinese authorities have stopped issuing the Direct Sale License temporarily.

At the January 29 meeting, the direct-selling firms were told to self-examine its production process, information made available in the product labelling and dosage information, sales, internal management, and direct-selling agents.

Heavier fines and stricter criteria: China proposes five changes to infant formula registration process

The Chinese authorities have proposed five changes ​to the country’s infant formula milk powder registration process, in a bid to boost the level of quality, scientific evidence, and safe consumption of the products.

State Administration of Market Regulation (SAMR) announced that it was seeking public consultation on five changes proposed to the “Administrative Measures for the Registration of Product Formulas of Infant Formula Milk Powder” – a set of regulations first implemented in 2016.

“Since its implementation in Oct 2016, the measures have garnered attention within and outside of the country. There is a need to improve the means to a stricter registration process and clearly state the impermissible conditions,”​ the proposal said.

Probiotics regulations under review in China as regulator SAMR 'plays catch-up'

China's State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR) is calling for public feedback regarding regulations for health food products containing probiotics.

The SAMR recently issued a draft entitled Provisions for Declaration and Review of Probiotic Health Food,​ asking for comments to be submitted before April 20 this year.

At the moment, the declaration and review of probiotic health food is based on an earlier draft named Provision for Declaration and Review of Probiotic Health Food (Trial), which was implemented on July 1 2005.

Milk powder for teenagers: Nestlé China banks on growth from emerging category with new launch

Nestlé China has identified milk powder for teenagers as a new growth area​ and has launched a related series of new products to capture the market.

Under the brand “Nestlé AiSiPei”, the firm has unveiled three new products – including two milk powder, and one oatmeal – aimed at the young children and adolescent nutrition market in late August.

The launch of “Nestlé AiSiPei” is also an upgrade from the previous “Nespray Student Nutrition” portfolio. The upgraded version has added nutrients such as DHA, vitamin C, D, calcium, and zinc into the formula.

Dairy giant Feihe International to embark on second $1bn IPO attempt in Hong Kong

China-based dairy and infant formula specialist Feihe International is said to be reviving its plans for a Hong Kong IPO​ that could raise up to US$1bn, signifying the firm's second attempt at an IPO.

Its first was in 2017 with China Merchants Securities as its sponsor.

The company had gone private in 2013 when it de-listed from the New York Stock Exchange, along with many other US-traded Chinese firms, some of which have since re-listed in Hong Kong.

Chinese supplement firm Quanjian’s founder faces criminal detention with 17 others amid false advertisements allegations

Eighteen employees at Chinese supplement firm Quanjian, including founder Shu Yu Hui, are under criminal detention​ amid alleged involvement in fake advertising for its multi-level marketing (MLM) activities.

Besides Shu, a doctor surnamed Zhu was also amongst those detained, Tianjin police said on January 7. 

"(On) January 1 2019, police from the Tianjin city has conducted investigations on Quanjian Natural Medicine Science & Technology Development for its suspected involvement in organising (and) heading MLM activities and (putting up) fake advertisements," ​Tianjin police said using their official Weibo​ account.

China's 100-day health food crackdown: 300 cases valued at US$6.7m in first wave of action

At least 300 cases worth roughly US$6.7m (RMB45m) have been identified since China launched a '100-day operation' to stem illegal and unethical practices across the nation's health food and supplement industry.

The operation​ involves authorities from 13 government units, and is targeted at individuals and firms involved in putting up fake advertisements, manufacturing and selling counterfeits, and other illegal and deceptive actions that disrupt the health food market.

In the past two and a half weeks, the operation has brought to light at least 300 cases​ of illegal activities amounting to US$6.7m (RMB45m), China's State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR) announced​ during a press conference on January 30.

Strict and serious: '100-day operation' to clean up China's health food market

The Chinese authorities have started a '100-day operation'​ in a bid to weed out unscrupulous industry practices prevalent in the country's health food market.

The operation, which started on January 8, focuses on stemming fake advertisements, the manufacturing and selling of counterfeits, and other illegal and deceptive actions that disrupt market order. 

Spearheaded by the State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR), the cross-department operation also involves 12 other government units, including the National Health Commission, the Ministry of Commerce, the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, and the Ministry of Public Security.

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