Business / Companies

Siemens hearing aids focus on R&D

By Hu Yuanyuan ( Updated: 2015-11-23 14:34

Sivantos Group, the world's largest maker of hearing aids, will increase its investment in the R&D centers by 20 percent this year.

"We will invest heavily on the product innovation in the coming years, which is one of our key strategies," said the company's CEO Roger Radke.

Currently, Siemens hearing aids has two global R&D centers, with one in Singapore and one in Germany.

"So far, we have no plan to set up a new R&D center in China, but at the same time we will strengthen our cooperation with Chinese research institutions and colleges in both product research and public hearing aid education," said Radke. "Meanwhile, we have set up a manufacturing center in China this year, and the pilot program of new products will be first carried out in the center."

Though China's economy has been slowing down, Radke is still quite optimistic about the company's growth in the country.

"The hearing aid industry is resilient to the economic cycle. And China's economic growth is still fast compared with other economies," said Radke, believing China's market will see a double-digit growth in the following five to ten years.

Moreover, as China is entering the aging society, there is an increasing demand for hearing aid products. Industry statistics showed by 2020, the country's aging population will reach 248 million. There are 27 million hearing-impaired people in China, but only 5 percent of them have hearing aids, compared to the global average of 20 to 25 percent.

Siemens Hearing, the Chinese unit of Sivnatos Group, is the biggest hearing aid distributor in China, with a market share close to 50 percent, according to Radke.

The company has a factory in Suzhou, Jiangsu province, which accounts for one-fourth of its global capacity. The company now has more than 1,000 Siemens franchise stores and 2,000 fitting centers across the country, covering all the first-tier cities and 90 percent of the second-tier cities.

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