China focus: Our top 10 most-read China stories of 2021 revealed

By Tingmin Koe

- Last updated on GMT

China focus: Our top 10 most-read China stories of 2021 revealed

Related tags top stories A2 milk COVID-19

Yiling Pharmaceutical’s Lianhua Qingwen, NMN market boom, Nestle China’s ‘blue-hat’ certified health foods for seniors, and a2 milk market potential are some of the most popular China-related stories this year.
COVID-19: TCM Lianhua Qingwen speeds up recovery but no effect in preventing conversion to severe cases – two-week RCT

A two-week clinical trial led by renowned Chinese pulmonologist Zhong Nanshan  showed that consuming the botanical TCM product Lianhua Qingwen (LH) capsules and undergoing the standard therapy can speed up recovery in COVID-19 patients.

However, it has not proved to be effective in preventing severe infection from happening or reducing median viral assay conversion time. 

In the trial​ which took place from Feb 2 to 15 last year, nine in 10 of the subjects (91.5%) in the treatment group had completely recovered from at least one major symptom, such as coughing, fever, and fatigue by the end of the trial.

It’s official: China added three TCM formula to COVID-19 standard therapy

The Chinese government officially recognised three TCM formulas as part of its standard therapy for COVID-19.

The three formulas​ – Lianhua Qingwen Capsule, Jinhua Qinggan Granule, and Xuebijing Injection – are patented products that are already commercially available and have been tested on​ COVID-19 patients in clinical settings.

The first two are herbal products featuring ingredients such as honeysuckle and weet wormwood.

International boom: Yiling Pharmaceutical saw overseas revenue soar amid COVID-19 interest in Lianhua Qingwen botanical

Yiling Pharmaceutical, the company behind TCM/dietary supplement product Lianhua Qingwen, said revenue from its overseas market was up 918.37 per cent in FY2020​, after the product was officially recognised by the China authorities as a COVID-19 standard therapy for mild symptoms such as fever and cough.

Yiling Pharmaceutical’s growth in the overseas markets last year started from a small base of RMB$29m (US$4.56m) in FY2019.

This grew to RMB$304m (US$46m) last year. Revenue from the overseas markets has been increased to 3.46 per cent of the company’s total revenue.

Longevity hope: Doctor’s Best new NMN product hit US$1m mark in China

A nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN) supplement made by US supplement firm Doctor’s Best​  hit the US$1m sales in the first 10 days of its launch, since it was first launched in China last year.

Over 5,000 bottles have been sold on its Tmall flagship store, its parent company Xiamen Kingdomway Group said.

Following the sold-out of the initial batch of 1,406 bottles, subsequent pre-orders of 3,605 bottles were received within three days between July 16 and 19.

NMN momentum: GNC China launched supplement, clinical trials in progress

GNC China launched​ its first nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN) supplement last December, after researching and developing the product for a year.

NMN supplements have been highly sought in China since July last year, with brands such as Doctor’s Best, Gene Habour, and EZZ enjoying huge commercial success​.

Amid the NMN wave, there has been an influx of products into China.

a2 milk in China: Analysts divided on brand’s long-term growth potential amid Nestle takeover rumours

Regional analysts were divided on The a2 Milk Company’s long-term growth potential, especially in China – its current largest market – amid acquisition rumours.

There are differing views​ on how China consumers perceive a2 milk and the value that it brings to its buyer in the event of being acquired.

The Australian​ reported on August 15 that Nestle ‘has been keeping a close eye’ on The a2 Milk Company which is currently listed on both ASX and NZEX, citing unspecified industry sources. Both companies did not acknowledge the claims.

China’s infant formula giant Feihe to expand into FSMPs after goat-milk powder patent granted

Major China infant formula brand Feihe’s patent application for a special medical use goat milk powder was granted, with market observers expecting the company to expand its range and retail channels.

The full-nutrition Foods for Special Medical Purpose (FSMP) is a powder formula based on goat milk, according to information stated on the published patent document.

It also contains​ ingredients such as concentrated whey protein, hydrolysed casein powder, and medium-chain triglyceride (MCT).

Swisse and Biostime focus: H&H revealed global expansion drive for major brands as revenue grows 2.5%

Hong Kong-listed nutrition giant Health & Happiness unveiled how it plans to​ expand its Swisse and Biostime brands globally, after unveiling full-year revenue growth of 2.5 per cent revenue growth.

For Swisse, the company planned to introduce the brand to new markets via its VMS and beauty-from-within offerings and for Biostime, the focus would be on introducing its probiotics range.

In its FY2020 annual results, H&H said revenue was up 2.5 per cent to RMB$11.2bn (US$1.7bn) but gross profit dipped 0.6 per cent to RMB$7.2bn (US$1.1bn).

Beyond beauty: Nestlé Health Science China launched Vital Proteins’ immune and lifestyle range via CBEC

Nestlé Health Science China opened a flagship store on Tmall for Vital Proteins​, its peptide collagen brand from the US, and aims to educate the Chinese consumers that collagen supplements are not only for skin beauty, but beneficial for immune, joint health, and sports performance as well.

Nestlé Health Science acquired Vital Proteins last year and the brand was introduced to China during the Hainan Expo held between May 7 and 10 this year.

Vital Proteins specialises in collagen supplements for a variety of benefits, including supporting hair, skin, nails, bones, joints health, and workout recovery. Its products come in various formats, such as powder, shots, bars, and capsules.

Healthy ageing: Nestle China launched company’s first set of ‘blue-hat’ certified health foods for seniors

Nestle China has launched its first set of ‘blue-hat’ certified health foods for seniors​ – a milk powder containing glucosamine and a probiotic protein powder.

The former claims to increase bone density and is designed to satisfy seniors’ demand for increased mobility while the latter is said to support the immune system. 

The ‘blue-hat’ certification and logo are only given to health foods that are approved via the registration track. This procedure has more stringent requirements on the products’ scientific evidence and takes years to complete.  

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