Leading traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) producer and retailer TongRenTang on Monday announced plans to expand its overseas chain to 100 stores by 2008.
The company already has 22 stores in 14 nations and would look at expanding the overseas market for its medicines, said Xie Suhua, general engineer of the company.
Last year, TongRenTang exported to more than 40 countries and regions, achieving about 70 million yuan (8.9 million US dollars) in overseas sales.
Xie said TongRenTang's expansion would include "flagship pharmacies", intended to tighten control of its overseas TCM market share.
The 300-year-old company was also considering opening its first pharmacy in Japan, as well as preparing for on-line sales.
Xie said the global expansion plan faced serious challenges as the Republic of Korea and Japan were active in staking their own claims to herbal medicines, the essence of TCM.
Meanwhile, some medical experts in China were publicly disparaging of traditional Chinese medicines, proclaiming "the Chinese no longer need the medicine and it is a time to bit it farewell".
"Chinese Medicine is at a crucial point now, but we are optimistic of running the industry as our forebears did 300 years ago," said Song Weiqing, deputy manager of the company.
The medicinal effects of TCM were widely recognized internationally, Song said, adding that TCM was developing with new technologies.
Modern TCM was no longer made in small workshops and tasted by experts, but manufactured to international standards on production lines, Song said.
Source: China View